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Leah’s Lens: Should Grammarly count as AI?

Leahs+Lens%3A+Should+Grammarly+count+as+AI%3F
Tristan Spinato

Grammarly has been many people’s lifesaver since it came out in 2009. The main function of Grammarly is to detect grammatical errors and potential plagiarism in people’s writing, in use by over 30 million people. It is especially popular among students, who use it to check over work before submitting it to their professors. With the rise of artificial intelligence in today’s society, many professors are now using detection software for AI, which can sometimes detect the use of Grammarly, even if it was only used for proofreading. It is valid for professors to use detection software to ensure students are writing their own material, but flagging work for Grammarly should not be part of that.

AI like ChatGPT is in a whole different ballpark than Grammarly. ChatGPT can be given a prompt and essentially write an essay in response. For classes where the majority of the work is written assignments, ChatGPT can be a resource that makes it so students quite literally do not have to do anything for their course. A service that does everything for you is taking it too far; it is not beneficial in the long run to completely rely on technology. 

Imagine a scenario where you are given an assignment to write a seven-page paper on the history of the potholder and how it has impacted today’s society. Your first thought may be wondering how on earth you write seven pages about that; your second thought may be to use AI to help you. After typing in the assignment prompt, it spits out a whole paper for you to easily submit and never think about again. You turn it in early and feel accomplished; that is, until you receive a zero on the assignment because your professor uses AI detection software. 

On the contrary, imagine a scenario in which you are given the same assignment and begin to do some research, only to find out the history of the potholder is actually mesmerizing. You crank out a terrific paper, check it using Grammarly and receive a 100 from your professor, as well as the highly sought after “Great job!” written at the top. You feel extremely satisfied with your grade and with knowing your hard work paid off. 

It may seem incredibly enticing to use a service like ChatGPT to lessen your workload, but in reality you are only hurting yourself. One of the most important aspects of being a student is working hard and seeing that work pay off, even when it feels like a major challenge. It has been psychologically proven that challenging oneself is good for the brain in many ways, and school is a very easy place to begin.

Grammatical mistakes are inevitable, especially when one is writing something that is more than a few paragraphs long. It gets much more difficult to catch small mistakes when you have been working on one thing for a long time. It is also much more important to focus on big picture aspects, rather than sweat the small details. Grammarly is the perfect tool for these circumstances, and many others; not writing for you, but instead fixing the errors you may have missed while honing in on the big picture. 

 It is perfectly reasonable, and often beneficial, to double check yourself after completing written work, whether it be for school, work or something else. It is not reasonable to ask a service to do said work for you – these are two fundamentally different services. While AI detectors are necessary, grouping Grammarly into this category is an inaccurate depiction of the application.

 

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About the Contributor
Leah Boone, Opinion Editor
Leah Boone (she/her/hers) is a junior chemistry major. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
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