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The Automation of Writing, A Step Closer to the Devolution of Academic Writing Features 

The Automation of Writing, A Step Closer to the Devolution of Academic Writing

Have you ever stumbled upon ads and publicities about that AI tool that can do just about anything for you? Interestingly, there are articles featuring how its capabilities greatly outweigh its inadequacies. One of the popular things it can do is to write an essay. Without naming the app, one practically already knows what this article is referring to.

What is intriguing about this AI tool is that anyone can use it in an extensive universe of possibilities. Imagine the joy of commanding it to build a personal skincare routine for you just by entering a few commands and questions. How about commanding it to start a conversation with a deceased president of the United States? The list goes on. It is also this volatile feature which makes these language-generating AI apps high-risk to academic writing. Firstly, as much as these contributions make life easier and more automatized, the teachers of this generation

have grown concerned about AI’s unfavourable effects on traditional writing because of its popularized purpose for writing essays and its ability to re-write or edit paragraphs under a unique persona such as Ernest Hemingway or Charles Dickens, all according to the user’s command. Many students still use this, and consequently, many students are also unaware of how rampant this issue is on campus.

The subject of artificial intelligence is all too familiar in Vanier College where students eat dystopian fiction and science fiction short stories for breakfast and dinner. All students in Vanier College have to complete ‘College English 101’ as one of the required introduction courses, and it is where students are drilled into analyzing dystopian literature in which themes, among others, revolve around the detrimental effects of technological advancement on human evolution.

Ironically, studying these genres of literature is not enough to encourage students to reflect on the surging trend of using human-like, language-generating AI apps in writing what they should be writing. It is like a drug that hooks the student into using it again for the next writing assignment. After all, it is in essence, making work more time-efficient with minimal effort. If this continues, the current generation of learners will experience a devolution of intellectual writers: from innovative, creative writers into mere copy-pasters and recyclers of the original works of previous generations.

One important question to ask yourself before the next time you open a language-generating AI is whether you want to succeed without originality or succeed with originality. For some, the right decision is as clear as day, but others remain oblivious to the right choice. Why is this so?

The answer is whether the student values learning over a passing grade or vice versa. Which type of student are you?

By: Hyacinth Domingo

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