The potent combination of the internet and ubiquitous smartphones led us to ask whether we should bother remembering anything if the world’s knowledge is readily available anywhere we go. With the rapid mainstream adoption of AI, people are naturally discovering ways to minimize—or avoid—work. But what could that mean for our brains?

Among college students, at least, excessive use of generative AI tools like ChatGPT can lead to procrastination, memory loss, and lower academic performance, according to a recent study that asked, “Is it harmful or helpful?”

The research—published in the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education—found that students who faced higher academic workloads and time pressure were more likely to use ChatGPT. However, increased use of the AI tool ultimately hurt their grades.

“Not surprisingly, use of ChatGPT was likely to develop tendencies for procrastination and memory loss and dampen the students’ academic performance,”…

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