ChatGPT worries teachers

New AI raising concerns over possible plagiarism


Created 02/16/23. Took 5 minutes to make an account and find this photo on Dall E and searching “Robot at Student desk doing homework”.

Jaden Fortier, Staff Writer

The rise in a fairly new artificial intelligence chatbot could potentially cause problems in academics down the line. This new AI is ChatGPT, a chatbot released Nov. 30, 2022 and developed by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research company. 

The chatbot allows users to have human-like conversations with an AI about a numerous amount of topics and has general knowledge about most things. The chatbot can even be used for things such as writing poetry, emails and essays, which is where some of the problems with it may arise. 

If a student inputted their essay topic into the ChatGPT chatbot, it would spit out an entire essay within the matter of a few minutes. If you input the same exact prompt into ChatGPT, the AI is designed to give you a different answer each time, which could bring up major issues regarding cheating and academic honesty.

Alexander Sterling, who is a member of the English department at Los Medanos College, said that they are “definitely concerned” with how ChatGPT and AI as a whole will affect English classes.

A big worry is that many students will use AI to plagiarize, to produce writing that is not really their own,” said Sterling.

Sterling also said how most plagiarism catching tools like Turnitin, which is commonly used by professors to have their students submit their essays on, is not able to detect when something is written by an AI. This makes it essentially impossible for a professor to tell whether or not a student actually typed what they submitted.

Despite something like this existing, Sterling believes that it is still too early to see how much of an issue AI plagiarism will play in English classes.

“It’s also good to remember that students don’t want to cheat and they do want to be good writers,” said Sterling, adding that students “understand that the goal of English-100 is to grow as a writer, reader, thinker and person.”

While the involvement of AI in education has its potential dangers, Dean of Student Success at LMC, Dave Belman, said “as new tools become available in our world, I think it is important for educators to continually clarify for students which tools are acceptable for use in their classes.” 

Belman said that there have been a bunch of different tools that have impacted education, such as calculators and the internet, so ChatGPT is just the next thing on that list.

“I know that some faculty have considered incorporating the use of ChatGPT into their classes while others have modified their assignments/exams because of it,” said Belman.

It still remains to be seen just how ChatGPT and other AI tools impact the world of education, for better or for worse.