That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works!
Mumm's The Word
It's clear that academia is having a normal one in the wake of ChatGPT.
As Rolling Stone reports, one such normal-brained professor at Texas A&M University says he asked the OpenAI chatbot whether his students had used it to cheat on their final essays — and told him that the whole class had used ChatGPT to write their papers, which is considered cheating at most schools.
That teacher, Dr. Jared Mumm, went on to flunk the entire class based on what ChatGPT had told him, even though most of them were due to graduate this month. Unsurprisingly, though, it turns out the chatbot seems to have made up the cheating allegations.
"I copy and paste your responses in [ChatGPT] and [it] will tell me if the program generated the content," Mumm, a rodeo and agriculture teacher, reportedly wrote to his students before offering them a chance to make up the final three essays in order to be able to graduate.
That's not, as Rolling Stone notes, how ChatGPT works. While there is software that purports to detect whether a given text was written by a chatbot, that software is not ChatGPT itself, which is known to spew misinformation and falsehoods.
After the debacle went viral on Reddit, Rolling Stone was able to get in touch with the original poster, who claims to be engaged to one of the students Mumm flunked. According to the user, the rodeo professor — yes, that's a thing — apparently flunked "several" other classes in a similar fashion.
To make the situation spicier, an enterprising Redditor ran Mumm's dissertation through ChatGPT to see if it could really "detect" plagiarism — and, lo and behold, it claimed that the professor used AI to write his thesis, which was submitted in 2021, before ChatGPT was even a thing.
"The text contains several characteristics that are consistent with AI-generated content," ChatGPT reportedly said.
In a statement to PC Magazine, Texas A&T claimed that "no students failed the class or were barred from graduating as a result of this issue," though their diplomas were still on hold as Mumm works with students "to determine whether AI was used to write their assignments and, if so, at what level."
Both Rolling Stone and Futurism have reached out to Mumm for comment about the situation, but have yet to hear back.
The whole thing sounds like an ivory tower nightmare, and as humorous as it sounds from the outside, it must be maddening for the students whose diplomas are being withheld by the latest AI maelstrom.
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