Harvard Will Use AI Instructors Next Semester

Harvard University’s popular introductory coding course, CS50, will be taught by an AI instructor starting this fall. The aim is to eventually achieve a 1:1 teacher-student ratio through AI tools that support individualized learning. The course staff is experimenting with AI models, including GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, to provide coding instruction. However, there are concerns about the reliability of AI-generated code and the potential impact on student learning.

The decision to use an AI-powered instructor is seen as an experiment, and students will be the ones experiencing it. The hope is that AI will reduce the time spent on assessing code quality, allowing more meaningful interaction between teaching staff and students. While acknowledging the potential limitations of early AI programs, Harvard advises students to think critically and evaluate information from both humans and software.