US schoolchildren using ChatGPT in essay exams: Report

US schoolchildren using ChatGPT in essay exams: Report

ChatGPT, the tool which generates responses to queries using artificial intelligence (AI) language models, has completely revolutionised the text-based world. There’s a major debate underway on the usefulness of the tool as there have been many reports of people using it successfully in difficult exams. Many experts have said that the tool could be misused.

Their concerns came alive when reports came that several students at Cape Coral High School in Florida allegedly used artificial intelligence (AI) to cheat on an essay exam.

The International Baccalaureate Program coordinator at Cape Coral High School reportedly told NBC News that several submitted essays appeared to have been created by artificial intelligence.

Also read: ChatGPT is confronting, but humans have always adapted to new technology

Questionable submissions

The programme coordinator wrote in an email to parents that “there have been some IB papers submitted that are questionable in a few ways… including having very different styles of writing from previously submitted papers,”.

According to the NBC report, the Cape Coral High School IB Theory of Knowledge students apparently used a platform like ChatGPT.

Teenagers’ response

With concerns over misuse of the tool rising, the New York Times asked teenagers how they thought schools should respond to ChatGPT. Many came to the conclusion that the chatbot was a mighty, if at times unreliable, tool. Some worried that ChatGPT would rob them of their motivation, creativity and critical thinking; others that it would lead to widespread cheating, the NYT report said. But several teenagers argued that AI is the future, and schools should embrace it rather than restrict it.

In the US, since ChatGPT debuted in November, the nation’s largest school districts have banned it, concerned that students will use the speedy text generator to cheat or plagiarize.

Plagiarism debate

Pieter Snepvangers, a graduate student, used ChatGPT AI to create an essay to test whether plagiarism would be possible with the programme. He commanded the ChatGPT to write a 2000-word essay on social policy, and surprisingly, the artificial intelligence bot completed it in just 20 minutes.

Teachers and professors are concerned that this technology makes it far too easy for students to use it as a shortcut for essays or other writing assignments and exams.

Also read: From Bengaluru to Paris, varsities, colleges mull banning ChatGPT

Chatbot’s answer

Interestingly, USA Today asked the chatbot, “Why are schools banning ChatGPT?”

And the answer raised similar concerns: “I am not aware of any schools that have banned ChatGPT specifically. However, it is possible that some schools or educational institutions may have policies in place that prohibit the use of certain technology in the classroom or during exams, particularly if it is deemed to be a distraction or a potential aid for cheating. Additionally, the use of AI models such as ChatGPT raises ethical concerns around the potential misuse of the technology, such as impersonation or spreading misinformation…Therefore, some schools may choose to ban or restrict the use of such technologies as a precautionary measure.”

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