In my previous blog entry, I shared a list of AI fears. But, when I ran it through Trecek-King’s FLOATER acronym, the AI megaprompt suggested that while well-reasoned, the fears lacked evidence. Of course, it’s not that the fears lacked evidence, but that MY original post was missing evidence.

Read the series here:

Confirmation Bias

One of the dangers of AI, and this blog post and subsequent ones may well prove it, is that one starts with the desired conclusion (fear of AI). Then, one uses AI to analyze low quality, incomplete evidence that supports that conclusion in a fit of motivated reasoning (a.k.a. confirmation bias being the main problem). Confirmation bias is simply coming to a conclusion then marshaling evidence and “motivated” reasoning to support that conclusion.

“We think we follow evidence to a conclusion. In reality, we come to our beliefs in irrational ways, then work backwards to find evidence to rationalize the belief.” -Melanie Trecek-King,

So, with that in mind, here’s the fear and the AI evidence. Is the conclusion merited or not?


Students will increasingly rely on AI generated creations to get the desired output for a grade.The desired output, the product that represents students’ knowledge, isn’t the real desired end of education. It’s the process students’ brains go through to get to the end product that is graded. AI usage by students jeopardizes this in a way that is indistinguishable from actual work product.

The AI gathered evidence and conclusion appears below the line. Will the citations offered by AI be sufficient to convince you of the accuracy?

The concern that AI usage by students might replace critical brain processing and learning is supported by several pieces of evidence from the provided sources. Here are the key points:

Loss of Critical Thinking and Creativity

  1. Over-Reliance on AI: Many educators worry that students who rely heavily on AI tools may develop a lack of critical thinking skills and creativity. This is because AI can provide ready-made answers, which might discourage students from developing their own ideas and solutions. This concern is echoed in multiple sources, highlighting that students might not engage deeply with the material if they can easily obtain answers from AI[2][6][7][14].

  2. Decreased Cognitive Development: Relying solely on AI for writing assignments can compromise students' ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information independently. This over-reliance hampers cognitive development and prevents students from grasping the intricacies of the subject matter[6].

Academic Integrity and Learning Process

  1. Academic Dishonesty: The use of AI tools like ChatGPT to generate essays or complete assignments can lead to academic dishonesty. This not only undermines the integrity of the educational process but also means that students are not genuinely engaging with the learning material[1][2][9][14].

  2. Misrepresentation of Work: There is a significant concern that students may misrepresent AI-generated work as their own, which can lead to a false assessment of their understanding and skills. This misrepresentation can be difficult to detect and can undermine the educational process[17][18].

Impact on Student-Teacher Interaction

  1. Reduced Human Interaction: Increased use of AI in education can lead to reduced human contact between students and teachers. This can result in students feeling isolated and disconnected, which can negatively impact their motivation and engagement[4][5][13][14].

  2. Bias and Misinformation: AI tools can sometimes provide biased or inaccurate information, which can mislead students and affect their learning outcomes. This can further complicate the educational process and the development of critical thinking skills[2][5][13][14].

Empirical Evidence and Studies

  1. Empirical Studies: Limited empirical studies have shown that AI systems can affect learner-instructor interaction in online learning environments. For instance, AI teaching assistants and automated grading systems can change the dynamics of how students interact with their instructors, potentially leading to a more passive learning experience[4][12].

  2. Survey Data: Surveys indicate that a significant number of students have used AI tools for assignments or exams, and many believe that this does not constitute cheating. This widespread use of AI tools suggests that students might be bypassing the critical thinking and problem-solving processes that are essential for learning[3].


The evidence suggests that the fear of AI replacing critical brain processing in students is well-founded. The over-reliance on AI tools can lead to a loss of critical thinking and creativity, academic dishonesty, reduced human interaction, and the potential for bias and misinformation. These factors collectively jeopardize the educational process and the development of essential cognitive skills in students.

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