A college student confessed to writing an essay with the help of ChatGPT’s artificial intelligence program.
Cardiff University students say they got the best grades in essays written using AI chatbots.
ChatGPT is an AI program that can generate human-like responses and academic work.
Cardiff University said it is reviewing its policy and will soon issue new university-wide guidance.
Tom, not his real name, is one of the students who did his own experiments with ChatGPT.
With an average score of 2.1, Tom submitted two 2,500 essays in January.
For an essay he wrote with the help of AI, Tom got his first score, the highest he ever got in college.
In contrast, he received a lower rating of 2.1 for an essay written without software.
“I didn’t copy everything word for word, but I did prompt the questions so that I could access the information much more quickly than usual,” said Tom.
He also admitted that he will likely continue to use ChatGPT for planning and structuring essays.
A recent Freedom of Information request to Cardiff University revealed that there were 14,443 visits to the ChatGPT site on the University’s own Wi-Fi network during the January 2023 evaluation period.
A month ago, zero visits were recorded.
Despite an increase in visits during the January evaluation period, the university believes there is nothing to suggest the visits were for illegal purposes.
Cardiff University confirms that “most visits are from our research network. For example, our Computer Science and Informatics department has an academic interest in artificial intelligence research and teaching I am.”
Not his real name, John admits to being another student at the university who used this software to help him with his assignment.
“I have used it quite a few times since December.
“It’s basically just become part of my work process and will probably continue until it’s no longer accessible.
“When I first started using it, I asked them to write something like, ‘Compare this niche theory to other niche theories in an academic way,’ and it worked.”
ChatGPT doesn’t insert references, but John said he had no problem filling them in himself.
“I’ve also used it to summarize concepts in my course that I don’t think instructors are good at explaining,” he said.
“It’s a very good tool for cutting out the waffles that some lecturers go into for theory they don’t actually need to talk about in their essays.
“It can probably cut about 20% of the effort required for an essay.”
Both students said they would not use ChatGPT to write essays, but to generate content they could tweak and adapt themselves.
As for getting caught, John is confident that the influence of AI in his work is undetectable.
“I don’t think anyone can distinguish between working entirely on their own and AI-assisted work,” he said.
However, John worries about getting caught in the future. He fears his degree could be stripped if records of his communications with AI networks are found.
“I’m glad I used it in my final year of my degree because I feel that college is coming to a big change when it comes to coursework because it’s too easy to cheat with the help of AI,” he said.
“I like to think I got around this while benefiting from GPT in my most important years.”
Cardiff University said it was taking allegations of academic misconduct, including plagiarism, “very seriously”.
“While not specifically mentioned, inappropriate use of AI is subject to our existing Academic Integrity Policy,” the spokesperson said.
“We recognize the potential impact of AI programs like ChatGPT on our assessment and teaching.
“Maintaining academic integrity is our top priority, and we actively encourage students to discourage many forms of academic misconduct.”