Using ChatGPT Isn’t Working Smarter Or Harder – The Consequences of AI Generated Plagiarism for UMassD Students

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Arts and Entertainment Editor: Kamryn Kobel

Email: kkobel@umassd.edu

We are in the age of artificial intelligence – also known as AI. Recently, there has been an eruption of new AI technologies, including AI art and voice manipulation. The latest installment in this artificially intelligent wave of technology is the Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer.

Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, or ChatGPT,  is a chatbot that functions through artificial intelligence to mimic human interaction. ChatGPT is a creation of the company OpenAI, “an AI research and deployment company.”

According to Arimetrics, ChatGPT “is designed to provide natural and fluid responses to the user through chat through learning reinforcement techniques.” 

This means that the AI is able to compile information and input from interactions with human users. In doing this, the machine “learns,” and is better able to mimic human speech. The OpenAI website calls this method “Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback,” or RLHF. 

Essentially, ChatGPT copies the text that humans input in order to mimic the ways that people interact and write.

People have used a similar AI system, called Character AI, for lighthearted purposes such as roleplaying a conversation with their favorite characters or simulating discussions with celebrities and philosophers. 

However, there has been a new and more concerning use for these types of AIs, and ChatGPT in specific. 

Recently, students have been using ChatGPT to write essays and have been submitting these essays as their own work. 

This is concerning to educators for many reasons, one of which is that submitting an essay written by ChatGPT is plagiarism. 

The UMass Dartmouth Student Handbook defines plagiarism as “the representation of the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise.” 

Thus, if you are submitting an essay that was written by AI and not yourself, you are committing plagiarism. 

The consequences of plagiarism can range from a percentage taken off of your grade to expulsion from the university without the opportunity for readmission. 

Many, if not all, of the UMass Dartmouth professors are aware of plagiarism through ChatGPT, so it would be unwise to try and pass AI-generated essays off as your own. 

Don’t risk failing your classes or getting expelled – write your own work. 

If you need help with writing, you can always go to your professor’s office hours or visit the Writing and Multiliteracy Center on campus. 

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In addition to the threat of plagiarism, there are larger-scale implications to the increasing use of ChatGPT and other AI technologies. 

For one, it is making students lazy. 

Essays, papers, and even smaller-scale writing assignments are designed to help students learn and think critically. You are doing yourself a disservice if you begin to rely on computers to come up with answers for you. 

Being able to think critically is not only essential to the degree you are earning in college, but it is also essential to navigate everyday life. Depriving yourself of valuable exercises in this kind of thinking is robbing yourself of a full college education and your ability to think about the world around you.

Plus, artificial intelligence is just that – artificial. 

According to APA Online, “OpenAI itself acknowledges that ChatGPT sometimes says things that are utterly false, or generates citations that do not exist.” 

A machine cannot think critically and analytically as humans can, and neither can ChatGPT. 

Not only is it unable to think critically, but sometimes it’s just plain wrong. 

According to Incora Software, ChatGPT has a limited understanding of context, cannot understand sarcasm, doesn’t have common sense, and has a “limited ability to understand and respond to complex questions.” 

The ChatGPT website itself includes a list of the AI’s limitations, which include making incorrect assumptions and “exhibit[ing] biased behavior.” 

The AI can mimic human speech and text patterns, but it cannot truly understand the nuances of what it’s talking about. ChatGPT can’t analyze literature, create hypotheses, or understand the reality of things such as racism and sexism. 

Assuming that AI can truly write and create original work is misguided and dangerous – not only for your career as a college student but also for society at large. 

Don’t be fooled by these AI technology companies, and don’t let them stifle your intellect. 

No machine is as smart and original as you, a human being, are!

 

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