Teachers beg for help to combat cheating students using AI to write essays

A new artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot could soon cause chaos in schools as it could help pupils cheat on their coursework without teachers knowing.

Teachers may be given advice on how to stop a plagiarism epidemic as students turn to online resources to copy work.

ChatGPT, a new AI software developed in Silicon Valley by OpenAI, is an online service which people can sign up to completely free of charge.

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The programme’s algorithm means it can answer on all subjects and write entire essays based on prompts, which poses a danger for schools.

OpenAI states on its website: “We’ve trained a model called ChatGPT which interacts in a conversational way, reports the Mirror.

“The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer followup questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.

“ChatGPT is a sibling model to InstructGPT, which is trained to follow an instruction in a prompt and provide a detailed response."

Teachers who reviewed three ChatGPT answers to GCSE questions on English language, English literature and history said that the scores would be between a pass and a grade six, reported the Telegraph.

Some are calling for the government to step in to help tackle the problem.

Conservative MP Luke Evans also highlighted the capabilities of chatbots when he read out a speech in the House of Commons, which had been written by AI.

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The Bosworth MP asked ChatGPT to write the speech in the style of wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill on the state of the country over the past year.

He went on to say he believes there needs be "a regulator for algorithms and artificial intelligence to run concurrently and in synergy with the technology that we’re developing."

Exam watchdog for England, Ofqual, is to look into whether new guidance should now be given for schools who are worried about the use of AI chatbots for exams.

An Ofqual spokesman told the Telegraph: “We speak regularly with exam boards about risks, including malpractice risks, and will consider whether additional advice or guidance might be helpful.

“Sanctions for cheating are serious, including being disqualified from a qualification.”

The Daily Star has contacted Ofqual for comment.


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