Generative AI in Education
44% of Teens Intend to Have AI Do Their Schoolwork This Fall, and 60% Consider This 'Cheating'
- By Kate Lucariello
In a survey conducted for the Junior Achievement organization in July 2023, of the 1,006 respondents between the ages of 13 and 17 who were polled, nearly half of them said they intend to use AI this fall to do their classwork for them. But most teens consider doing this to be “cheating.”
The survey was conducted by the Big Village company, drawn from the Youth CARAVAN program. It surveyed teens who volunteered to participate online from July 6–11, 2023, with 1,006 completing it and results having a margin of error of +/-3.1%.
A disturbing number of reasons for using AI to do their schoolwork for them were given by teens:
62% said AI is just another tool for schoolwork.
24% said they didn't like school or schoolwork.
22% said people won't need to know this information because of AI.
22% said everyone else is doing it.
17% said they would do poorly otherwise.
8% said it's not important that they know the subjects they use AI for.
Additionally, 48% of teens said “they have known friends or classmates who have used AI to do their schoolwork instead of doing it themselves,” the survey showed.
“Generative AI can be a great tool to boost productivity, but unfortunately many people, especially teens, are seeing it as a shortcut,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “The misuse of AI to do all schoolwork not only raises ethical concerns, but this behavior could also short-change many students’ educations since they may not be learning the subjects they are using AI for. Given the growing demand for marketable skills, this could become very problematic.”
Junior Achievement focuses on giving K–12 students knowledge and skills to prepare them for future career and financial success, and it also offers the JA Excellence Through Ethics program. The program’s goal is to help students “learn the importance of ethics and ethical decision making and how ethical and unethical choices affect everyone in a community,” the organization said.
Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.