ChatGPT and Cheating? College Campuses Are Bracing for the Impact of AI-Enabled Text Generator on Students’ Academic Honesty

The AI-enabled natural language processing tool known as ChatGPT has taken the world by storm, but not always for positive reasons. While many worry about the exponential advancement of AI technology in general, college campuses are bracing for the impact of students using ChatGPT or its newer, smarter follow-up GPT-4. Created by OpenAI, these AI chatbots can compose a passable college-level term paper or populate answers to an exam in minutes, concerning educators and administrators over the future of the technology.

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While few professors may have heard of ChatGPT in 2022, it has quickly become a hot topic, calling academic honesty and learning into question. But educators are divided on the implications of the technology. Some call it a creative disruption for education and beyond, while others are excited about its potential as a learning utility.

ChatGPT creates complications for professors who might not be able to identify the difference between human-created essays and AI-composed texts. There are already some internet-based AI-checkers, such as ZeroGPT, which can parse the text to determine its origin. But many professors are using old school methods to ensure student engagement and discourage the illicit practice—requiring brainstorming and drafting or designing assignments to students’ interests, for example. Most importantly, educators need to be aware of ChatGPT and similar technologies—it has the potential to give itself a college education in nearly anything.