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University professor is terrified after catching student using AI to write essay

University professor is terrified after catching student using AI to write essay

Its official: we're living in the future.

An American college professor has made the stunning discovery that one of his students cheated on a class paper with the help of robots.

Furman University philosophy professor Darren Hick said he was bewildered to find out that one of his students had harnessed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) in order to get out of doing her coursework.

"Today, I turned in the first plagiarist I’ve caught using AI software to write her work and I thought some people might be curious about the details," he wrote on social media.

"The student used ChatGPT, an advanced chatbot that produces human-like responses to user-generated prompts."

He added: "This technology is about three weeks old."

What was the essay, we hear you ask? Philosophy.

It might just be us, but that feels kind of ironic.

Alexey Kotelnikov / Alamy

The program spits out responses that look like it was written by a human, and one with rather good grammar and essay structure, might we add.

But, despite the impeccable grammar and syntax of the assignment, there was one major issue that tipped him off: It made no sense.

"The essay confidently and thoroughly described [the topic] in a way that was thoroughly wrong," the South Carolina educator said.

"To someone who didn’t know [the topic] ... it was perfectly readable. Even compelling.

"To someone familiar with the material, it raised any number of [red] flags."

Hick confronted the student and she admitted to her ruse, failing the class as a result.

Fair enough, really.

But Prof Hick has fears for the future of academia and education.

The way of the future.
Mopic / Alamy

The tech could be difficult to detect as the software gets smarter and in the hands of wily (yet lazy) students.

"The more [the AI] it trains, the better it gets. Essentially, ChatGPT is learning, and ChatGPT is an infant. In a month, it will be smarter," he said.

"For freshman-level classes [and other lower levels of a college education]... this is a game-changer," he said in the now-viral social media post.

"This is too new. But it’s going to catch on. It would have taken my student about five minutes to write this essay using ChatGPT.

The philosophy professor revealed he has implemented a new plagiarism policy as a result.

Students will now be made to perform an on-the-spot oral presentation to prove they wrote the piece themselves.

That's one way to catch them. Unless students start sending cyborgs to class on their behalf, that is.

Featured Image Credit: Michael Doolittle / Alamy. Kiyoshi Takahase Segundo / Alamy.

Topics: US News, Technology, Robotics, News