In the age of advanced technology and artificial intelligence, it seems that nothing is beyond the reach of innovation. Unfortunately, this includes the dark side of technology as well. Recent reports suggest that some students are now turning to advanced AI language models, like Chat GPT, to plagiarise their university essays.
This trend is raising concerns among educators, academic institutions and researchers, as the use of advanced technologies to cheat in academic settings could have severe consequences for the credibility of higher education.
This technology is so powerful that it has written TV Episodes, created cocktail recipes and devised a mock bible verse about someone eating a peanut butter sandwich. It even wrote the first paragraph of this article. Did you notice?The speed at which such convincingly human words can be generated is why Turnitin, the software The University of Bristol uses to check for plagiarism, has recently been updated to detect students using AI technology to complete academic work.
Confident that the accuracy of this AI detection software – which stands at 97 per cent – will dissuade students from presenting ChatGPT’s work as their own, the majority of UK universities use this algorithm to combat academic plagiarism.
No data is readily available on the extent to which students have been abusing the power of AI in their exams. However, that Turnitin has so quickly worked to combat it suggests that this is a significant concern.Scarily, AI is now advanced enough to pass exams: in America, ChatGPT passed a medical licensing exam with 60% accuracy. In the UK, the software received a 2:1 in an essay from a Russell Group University. This has exacerbated the fear that further developments in this technology could result in the redundancy of traditional examinations.
The fastest growing user base in history, ChatGPT was released in November 2022 and took just five days to reach one million active users.
Inevitably, a vast proportion of its 13 million daily users are students: it was recently revealed that 89 per cent of American students have admitted to using ChatGPT to help with their academic work.