AI-generated plagiarism has become an issue in academia with the publication of OpenAI's ChatGPT in December, as professors and school boards throughout the country debate whether to exercise caution or embrace the possibilities of AI writing tools.
Teachers are both alarmed and intrigued by the fact that ChatGPT and other chatbots can generate text on virtually any topic and in nearly any style. Want a sonnet written in the style of Shakespeare? How about a limerick? A 500-word English paper on the thematic significance of blue curtains in The Great Gatsby would be acceptable. You can even have tools like Quillbot rewrite the essays provided by ChatGPT so that it does not appear obvious.
No one believes ChatGPT is capable of writing essays of valedictorian caliber, but as Mike Pearl of Mashable writes, "ChatGPT knows just enough to be hazardous."
Aside from the narrow topic of school essays, some teachers are enthusiastic about the potential for AI writing to improve learning experiences, while others are apprehensive to implement it in the classroom. Here's a peek at how instructors and schools throughout the nation and online are utilizing ChatGPT:
New York City prohibits ChatGPT bot usage in its schools.
The New York City Department of Education has, in what appears to be the first policy barring the use of AI bots in schools, prohibited the use of ChatGPT by students and teachers on district networks and devices. According to a story from The Washington Post, it is unclear if ChatGPT use outside of school is prohibited or not.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Jenna Lyle, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Education, said, "While the tool may be able to provide quick and simple answers to questions, it does not build the essential critical-thinking and problem-solving skills for academic and lifelong success."
Many states and school districts are still determining their ChatGPT policies, and the NYCDOE is the first to take action. Nonetheless, at some schools, instructors have taken preemptive actions for their courses in lieu of an official district decision.
According to the San Francisco Standard, teachers at Oceana High School in Pacifica, California have warned students against utilizing AI-writing software for schoolwork. Some teachers, like as Andrew Bader, warned the Standard that they may demand pupils to submit "hand-written or multimedia tasks that cannot be copied and pasted from AI."
Some websites, such as writer.com's AI-content detector and GPTZero, an anti-ChatGPT application, have developed AI-recognition techniques to prevent plagiarism.
And for what it's worth, OpenAI says it's working on a technique to digitally "watermark" its text outputs, which means ensuring the language contains indicators of being AI-generated that only a robot can detect.
Teachers on the Internet, but particularly on TikTok, are divided on whether or not they favor or oppose ChatGPT. For some educators, the chatbot facilitates their work by generating lesson plans and student materials. As stated in one of Dan Lewer's TikTok films "Observe how my suggestions assist teachers in doing their jobs better, as opposed to doing their jobs for them. Teachers cannot be replaced by robots. Yet. ?"
Tyler Tarver, a second educator on TikTok, told his followers that ChatGPT "enables you to support and engage all students, regardless of their ability level." To illustrate this point, Tarver created a portion of the script for the video he was creating using AI. Notably, Tarver stated in a separate TikTok post, "Kids may just tell it what to do, such as write a 500-word essay about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." However, in his endorsement of ChatGPT, he emphasizes the chatbot's potential as a classroom resource. It can generate lesson materials for professors and serve as a discussion help for students, according to him.
In these videos, teachers express both hope and skepticism on how AI-generated content will transform the classroom for all time. Based on the responses on TikTok, teachers on the app saw ChatGPT as a tool that should be utilized similarly to calculators and cell phones in the classroom: as a resource to assist students succeed without doing the job for them.
The decision to deploy AI writing tools in the classroom ultimately rests with individual teachers and their students' requirements.