Regarding AI Writing Programs

What are AI writing programs?

AI writing programs – such as ChatGPT, Anyword, Jasper, and even Grammarly – produce mechanically-correct writing and even whole essays in a matter of seconds. Some programs do it for free.

Why are AI writing programs dangerous?

With their seemingly-superhuman powers, AI writing programs destroy students’ ability to write and think well on their own; and because AI writing programs do that, they also tempt students to be dishonest, and they attack the image of God embedded in students’ souls.

For more details, please see the blog post: “Was I the one who actually wrote this article?”

Under no circumstances are AI writing programs acceptable in doing work for Scriptorium courses.

I am aware of many of the hallmarks of AI-produced writing. While it is possible for these characteristics to be disguised, I hope that adjusting how thinking and writing skills are taught in the classroom can reduce the likelihood that students would be tempted to be dishonest by using AI.

To that end:

In class

  • I will increasingly emphasize excellent thinking and writing and will work to explain more specifically how and why it is excellent
  • I will give students increasing opportunity to think and write about the material in class—particularly working on essays and other written assignments so that they can receive immediate feedback before they complete work at home
  • I will increasingly emphasize the importance of reading from and annotating physical copies of the books used for the course

Outside class

  • I will encourage students to write by hand and work without their computers/cellphones as very little homework actually requires use of a computer or internet
  • I will encourage students to work at times when they feel most familiar with the material

My hope is that completing homework as much as possible without using computers, combined with plenty of guidance and practice in writing and in reading primary sources during class, will give students the confidence and skills to write effectively on their own so that they will not be tempted to use AI.