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Grant Update: Impact of AI tools on reader comprehension

The Co-Lab Grant program recently funded some initial research completed by Qirui Ju about the impact of generative AI tools on reader comprehension.  See the abstract below or click through to view the paper.  Looking forward to this research continuing and growing in scale!


In this study, I explored the impact of Generative AI on learning efficacy in academic reading materials using experimental methods. College-educated participants engaged in three cycles of reading and writing tasks. After each cycle, they responded to comprehension questions related to the material. After adjusting for background knowledge and demographic factors, complete reliance on AI for writing tasks led to a 25.1% reduction in accuracy. In contrast, AI-assisted reading resulted in a 12% decline. Interestingly, using AI for summarization significantly improved both quality and output. Accuracy exhibited notable variance in the AI-assisted section. Further analysis revealed that individuals with a robust background in the reading topic and superior reading/writing skills benefitted the most. I conclude the research by discussing educational policy implications, emphasizing the need for educators to warn students about the dangers of over-dependence on AI and provide guidance on its optimal use in educational settings.


Read the paper at SSRN.