Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Extinguish Students Creativity?

By: Seham Elsherif


With the continuous advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its infiltration in many aspects of life, including education, it is interesting to know its impact on the creativity of students. Creativity is important to enhance critical thinking skills, innovation, problem-solving, and self-expression; however, there are some concerns that AI will limit students creativity.

People who support AI believe that it will increase students creativity as it will offer them new tools that can help them explore and get inspired, such as generating new ideas and solutions to different problems. Moreover, it will allow them to automate repetitive tasks, which will provide them with more time to be used for creative thinking. On the other hand, opposers think that if students rely on AI, they may lose their ability to be creative, think critically, and find new ideas.


What is AI?

The term Artificial Intelligence refers to the process of computer systems simulating human intelligence. Generative Artificial Intelligence is one of its most important forms; it can produce texts, pictures, music, etc. AI is considered important since it is used in many applications, such as automating tasks and accurately completing repetitive tasks such as data analysis. Now, AI has become an essential part of many international companies.

Generative AI is used in the field of healthcare, in analyzing medical data, which is reflected in the diagnosis of diseases accurately and efficiently. In the automotive industry, self-driving cars rely on AI to navigate the roads safely. In education, it is used to correct tests and conduct evaluations automatically in order to save the teachers time. Different language models, such as ChatGPT and Bard, can also be used in preparing different educational materials.



AI Applications in Education

The use of AI in education is beneficial for the teachers and students, but it also has some disadvantages, such as that it cannot replace humans in their feelings and emotions, which are needed in the education process. That is in addition to issues of bias, privacy, and data protection; as a result, we must deal with AI cautiously.

The most famous examples of AI educational applications are:

  • Personal Learning

Each student has their own style of learning and retains information differently; each student needs a detailed lesson plan that suits their learning style. However, it is difficult for teachers to prepare a different lesson plan for each student, which would be too time-consuming.

AI systems can identify the learning style of the students, monitor their educational level, and provide suggestions that suit each student. Results can also be predicted, so the teacher can predict to what extent their educational plan will succeed; it also helps in preparing different lesson plans and materials.

Chat bots can be programmed to respond to student inquiries; this is what Georgia Tech and Staffordshire have implemented.

  • Adaptive Learning

Suitable for online learning, it has the ability to choose the suitable resources and activities according to the needs of each student by analyzing the data regarding the performance and learning pace. Suitable materials are allocated in order to improve the learning process and save time by not wasting it in repetitive information and focusing on the difficult parts. An example on this is what Duolingo platform, which allows people to learn more that 40 languages.

  • Automated Correction

Correcting tests, essays, and assignments, while giving accurate feedback. This saves more time for the teachers, ensures the validity of the results, and provides teacher and student evaluation. According to a published scientific research, one in four schools in China uses an automated marking or assessment platform.

  • Smart Teaching Systems

They are systems that combine personalized and adaptive learning, and help the student learn at their own pace. Other educational applications include producing educational content such as lesson plans, virtual assistance, and data analysis to track student performance.



The Importance of Creativity

Creativity is essential for self-development and the development of the student's personality; it develops independence of thought, love of learning, and exploration. It also keeps the mind active, open, and flexible so that it changes the ways of thinking and can make alternative decisions. Creativity also helps students look at things differently when solving problems, and increases their self-confidence.


The ChatGPT Buzz

After the release of ChatGPT from OpenAI in late 2022, it became known that the program can write solid articles of thousands of words on any topic for free. As a result, some American and Australian states made the decision to block the openAI website from the internet in schools; some institutions warned against students using the program to cheat.

However, later on, it turned out that the program helps teachers and develops the educational process, and that cheating can be avoided. Educators advise that teachers change the ways they evaluate students and that they teach the students how to evaluate what the machine produces, which strengthens their critical thinking skills.

The use of AI is useful in starting fruitful conversations with students by providing them with generated text models and then discussing with them the misinformation and bias in some ideas.



AI and Creativity Programs

The question that arises: Is there any creativity in what AI programs produce? Will it increase human creativity, especially student creativity, or will it limit it?

The answer is that what AI programs produce, even though they inspire humans with many ideas, are based primarily on old data and not on anything new. Therefore, if humans rely entirely on AI programs, their ability to create will be affected. So, a person must start with a new idea and then use the machine, as well as test and improve what the machine produces.

At the end, it becomes clear that dealing with any new technology by preventing or blocking is not the correct approach. What we have to do is develop ourselves and change our way of thinking in a way that allows us to adapt the machine to the benefit of human well-being.