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A Zurich High School student doesn't read any of his books – and he's at the top of his grades!

A Zurich High School student doesn't read any of his books – and he's at the top of his grades!

A high school student in Zurich studies for the German high school exam using artificial intelligence and does not read a single book. Although he received the highest rating, he lacked a sense of success.

A high school student uses artificial intelligence to prepare for his high school exam. – Corner stone

The basics in a nutshell

  • A high school student in Zurich is preparing for his German high school diploma using artificial intelligence.
  • He created a kind of virtual teacher who asked him potential questions.
  • This means that he got the highest grades, even without having read any of the books.

High school graduates must read nine books for the oral exam. They are then interrogated for 15 minutes. The effort required in this quarter of an hour is enormous. Not so for a 20-year-old who used ChatGPT to prepare for a test.

“I didn't read any of my books. The AI ​​did everything for me.” He told the newspaper “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”. “I still have six.” But he thought about it some more so that the AI ​​wouldn't tell him any nonsense.

The student should read the novel “Faust” by Goethe. Thanks to artificial intelligence, he was able to answer the teacher's questions perfectly without having to open the book. – Corner stone

So subscribe to the paid version of ChatGPT to upload PDF documents. This included original texts and secondary texts, such as reading keys. The chatbot then gave the command to point to these documents only because: “Otherwise it would hallucinate.”

This is a well-known problem with artificial intelligence: it usually collects answers based on documents from the Internet. The result is some wrong answers, but with an explanation that seems reasonable.

Chatbot as a teacher

The high school student then gave the AI ​​the role of a German language teacher and had it ask questions that it had to answer itself. “You have to listen in class and develop a sense of what can be experienced.” You should also have the answers ready quickly during the exam, so you can't think too much about it. It is important to focus on the basics when answering. Therefore, you must have extensive knowledge.

Using the chatbot as a kind of tutor, the student learned the nine books in two days. Without ever opening a book. His conclusion was that “the effort I put into learning oral language was ridiculously low.” He criticizes his colleagues for not knowing how to learn: “They remember a lot of details.”

School does not require you to read books

However, with a chatbot, he quickly gets to the key points. He learned how to make connections, understand the author's message, and direct the test discussion in one direction.

His method is not entirely new: in the past, some students prepared only with summaries and secondary literature. He didn't break the rules either, because nowhere does it say that you have to read books. “Teachers assume you have to read books to get a good grade.”

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Artificial intelligence expert and German language teacher at Romanshorn Canton School, Jörg Federig, agrees with the student: For him, it is okay if students do not read books. It is important that they do not blindly trust artificial intelligence, but rather remain critical of it. You should use reliable sources, he prefers this to learning with Wikipedia.

And: “The task of the Matura test is not about reading the main text. Above all, you have to understand it.” Widrig is skeptical about whether a poker strategy always works, as happened with the 20-year-old student. “You can tell whether young people have read the text or not.”

For the 20-year-old, obtaining an AI-assisted high school diploma was a negative: “I had no feeling of success when I held my diploma in my hands.”