Chan Chun Sing Likens AI To Calculator, Says MOE Will Guide Students On Responsible Usage

MOE Guiding Teachers & Students On AI Use To Enhance Learning

With the increased pervasiveness of technology today, there are also more tools that students and educators can easily access.

Responding to questions on the possible misuse of AI tools, education minister Chan Chun Sing likened these tools to calculators. While AI tools can help to enhance learning, students must first grasp the basic concepts and thinking skills.

The Ministry of Education will also provide educators with skills to effectively harness AI tools while guiding students on how to use them in a more discerning manner.

AI as a supplement in education

Speaking in Parliament on Monday (6 Feb), Mr Chan said that educators will continue teaching students fundamental concepts while using the tools to supplement learning. This will prevent them from being over-reliant on such tools.

Mr Chan likened AI tools to calculators, adding that they will supplement learning only after students master basic concepts and thinking skills,

For example, just like how a calculator support students’ capacity for learning mathematics, but that does not replace the need for our students to first master basic mathematical operations.

Source: MCI Singapore on YouTube

Mr Chan also said that it is necessary to educate students on considering a “range of outcomes beyond a deterministic outcome”.

As AI tools can generate inaccurate or biased output, MOE also intends to impart skills for students to be more discerning.

Range of practices in place to guard against misuse

Several MPs also raised concerns over how generative AI tools may result in increased incidences of plagiarism.

In response, Mr Chan shared that schools and institutions of higher learning can adopt a range of practices to avoid such occurrences.

These include having varied assessment methods that require skills not easily generated using AI technology. These include examinations, presentations, and projects.

Source: MCI Singapore on YouTube

Educators also use different modes of assessment to gauge students’ proficiencies and detect uncharacteristic responses potentially generated by AI.

Teachers will also emphasise the importance of integrity and the harmful impact of plagiarism on students’ daily work.

Mr Chan wrapped up his speech by highlighting how essential skills of students today include being able to “discover, distil (and) discern”, ending with a tongue-in-cheek comment clarifying that his speech was written by his hardworking MOE officers, not by ChatGPT.

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