Chat GPT=Cheating?

How an AI tool really affects students.

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People can never escape the troubles of homework and exams during their student days. Every child, from the age of starting school, carries a backpack weighing as much as half their body weight to rush to school every week. After a day of studying at school, there are still homework assignments waiting to be completed. The routine of shuttling between school and home with a backpack begins in elementary school and continues until graduation from college or graduate school, with the weight of the backpack increasing year after year.

It is believed that many of us have fantasized in our childhood about the invention of an automatic pen that could effortlessly complete all our homework. Or perhaps having unlimited knowledge in our minds, requiring little effort to learn all the knowledge we would need for a lifetime. In fact, such imagination is no longer a fantasy in the era of 5G.

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In 2022, the AI software Chat GPT, developed by the American company OpenAI, made its debut on the internet. Chat GPT, combining the power of AI, offers users an intelligent way to search for information, enabling them to obtain effective answers in the shortest possible time and significantly saving their search time. The emergence of Chat GPT was expected to be a groundbreaking achievement, but surprisingly, it has also captured the attention of the student community, who have found it extremely “convenient” in their own unique way.

By the year of2023, many universities worldwide have placed AI tools on their blacklist of academic dishonesty and implemented checks not only for plagiarism but also for the usage of AI tools. In April 2023, numerous students took to social media to share their experiences of being accused of academic misconduct due to their utilization of AI-powered tools. Suddenly, AI tools and academic dishonesty became a hot topic of discussion among students and educators. The question of whether AI tools should be allowed in the academic domain has become a matter of great concern for all parties involved.


Student are starting to use AI tools

“I first heard about Chat GPT, the search engine, towards the end of 2022 when my then-boyfriend was using it to write the programming requirements for their assignments,” said Jessi Zhang (Jessi).

During the interview with Jessi, she was sitting outside a café on George Street in Sydney, holding her laptop as she prepared for her final end-of-semester assignment before graduation. “Finals week assignments can be so painful for college students,” she chuckled. “But I want to push through; after all, assignments are a rite of passage for students.”

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When it came to AI tools like Chat GPT, Jessi displayed a great deal of familiarity. She confidently remarked, “I know about these types of software, including Grammarly, which many international students often use, as well as DeepL, and the newly released Chat GPT from last year. Many people rely on these tools when working on their assignments.”

Although Jessi’s tone sounded relaxed, the furrowed brow and serious expression on her face indicated her current anxious state. “I know that many Australian schools have recently classified these AI tools as academic dishonesty. But I only use AI tools as auxiliary aids. I wonder if this could be seen as evidence of academic misconduct,” she expressed with uncertainty.


Assignments assess students, not AI advancements.

Experienced English teacher Susan Liang (Susan) with over 10 years of teaching experience recently discovered that some students’ homework far surpassed their in-class exam performance. “It’s evident when students use AI tools for their assignments because they can’t produce such excellent work during exams,” said Susan.

During the interview, Susan showcased samples of students’ assignments alongside their exam answer sheets. It was apparent that assignments produced with the help of AI tools demonstrated meticulous logic and precise language. However, the exam papers showed evident confusion in logic, along with basic spelling and grammar errors.

Since the introduction of Chat GPT, many students have opted to rely on AI tools instead. They input assignment questions and requirements directly into Chat GPT, allowing it to generate answers and subsequently submit their completed assignments.

“I understand their desire for high grades, but I cannot condone the act of using AI to replace their own work,” Susan stated.


AI tools could be anything, but it can not replace human brains

Ancient Jiang (Ancient) , a Ph.D. researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, offers unique insights regarding AI tools like Chat GPT. “AI tools, such as Chat GPT, have undoubtedly progressed rapidly, but they also have their limitations,” Ancient states. “While Chat GPT possesses its own reasoning abilities, it cannot replace the human brain.”

According to Ancient’s explanation, Chat GPT essentially functions as a language model for simulated conversations. Furthermore, the majority of Chat GPT’s responses to users are derived from existing internet data, with only a small portion of academic content being fabricated. “Students can utilize Chat GPT to retrieve papers, but they need to remain vigilant to avoid using fraudulent sources,” Ancient advises.

“It is crucial to remember that humans should view Chat GPT as an assistant rather than a shortcut to success,” Ancient concludes, emphasizing the proper societal role of Chat GPT.


Learning to Coexist with AI Technology

With the passage of time, technology continues to iterate. In the current era of 5G, the emergence of AI tools is inevitable and will undoubtedly undergo continuous updates along with technological advancements. For the academic community, how to coexist with AI technology may become the next hot topic after the debate on whether “Chat GPT constitutes cheating.”

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Although Australian universities have not explicitly prohibited the use of Chat GPT, it is undeniable that Chat GPT can be a significant asset in the academic field. Just as Ancient unintentionally remarked in an interview, “Humans are bound to coexist with AI technology in the future.” AI technology will have a seismic impact on the academic realm. How to harness this wave of AI technology to propel human knowledge forward will become a striving goal in the academic community.

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