Screenshot ChatGPT

New AI tool changes the conditions for studies and examination

The new AI tool ChatGPT brings to the fore the question of how universities should teach and examine students when artificial intelligence is capable of producing ever more sophisticated texts. This is stated by Fredrik Ahlgren and Johan Leitet, active at the Department of Computer Science and Media Technology.

Since December 2022, the AI tool ChatGPT is freely available online. The tool can write theses, create program code, translate and summarise texts in such a convincing way that higher education institutions now face many questions linked to how studies and examination should best be designed in the future, what should be considered cheating, and who is really the author of a text that has been produced with the help of AI.

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The AI tool ChatGPT has been developed by the company Open AI which is funded by, among others, Microsoft.

Not flagged for plagiarism

Texts generated by ChatGPT are not flagged by the software that is used by higher education institutions to discover plagiarism. The reason for this is that the tool creates entirely new texts.

“The plagiarism check we use today does not work. Urkund cannot discover this. We have tested and it seems it is not a good method for detecting AI-generated texts”, says Alhgren, senior lecturer at the Department of Computer Science and Media Technology.

ChatGPT can be compared to a ghost writer. The tool generates new texts at the user’s request and can be used to mislead as to who is the author. From this perspective, the tool amplifies an already existing problem – knowing who has written an assignment that is submitted.

“It has always been difficult to guarantee that the person who submits an assignment is also the author, regardless of whether there may be a technical tool or a ghost writer”, says Leitet, lecturer at the Department of Computer Science and Media Technology.

What should be considered cheating?

Another issue that has been brought to the fore is what should be considered cheating in an examination situation. What computer-based aids should be allowed for students? A tool like the spelling function in Word is an example of software that is considered uncontroversial. More advanced services like Grammarly helps users process entire texts.

ChatGPT takes computer-based aids to a new level.

“If we are to draw a line for what technology is ok to use, this line will be a grey area”, Ahlgren concludes.


Mer information:

Fredrik Ahlgren and Johan Leitet discuss ChatGPT and its significance for universities in two videos that are available on Youtube (only in Swedish). The first video introduces the tool and the second video discusses more in-depth how this can come to affect studies and examinations.