Educators are battling a new reality: easily accessible AI that allows students to take immense shortcuts in their education — and as it turns out, many appear to already be cheating with abandon.
Online course provider Study.com asked 1,000 students over the age of 18 about the use of ChatGPT, OpenAI's blockbuster chatbot, in the classroom.
The responses were surprising. A full 89 percent said they'd used it on homework. Some 48 percent confessed they'd already made use of it to complete an at-home test or quiz. Over 50 percent said they used ChatGPT to write an essay, while 22 percent admitted to having asked ChatGPT for a paper outline.
Honestly, those numbers sound so staggeringly high that we wonder about Study.com's methodology. But if there's a throughline here, it's that AI isn't just getting pretty good — it's also already weaving itself into the fabric of society, and the results could be far-reaching.
At the same time, according to the study, almost three-quarters of students said they wanted ChatGPT to be banned, indicating students are equally worried about cheating becoming the norm.
Educators are also understandably worried about AI having a major impact on their students' education, and are resorting to AI-detecting apps that attempt to suss out whether a student used ChatGPT.
But as we've found out for ourselves, the current crop of tools out there, like GPTZero, are still actively being developed and are far from perfect.
Some are worried AI chatbots could have a disastrous effect on education.
"Just because there is a machine that will help me lift up a dumbbell doesn’t mean my muscles will develop," Western Washington University history professor Johann Neem told The Wall Street Journal. "In the same way just because there is a machine that can write an essay doesn’t mean my mind will develop."
But others argue teachers should leverage powerful technologies like ChatGPT to prepare students for a new reality.
" I hope to inspire and educate you enough that you will want to learn how to leverage these tools, not just to learn to cheat better," Weber State University professor Alex Lawrence told the WSJ, while University of Pennsylvania's Ethan Mollick, said that he expects his literature students to leverage the tech to "write more" and "better."
"This is a force multiplier for writing," Mollick added. "I expect them to use it."
READ MORE: Professors Turn to ChatGPT to Teach Students a Lesson [The Wall Street Journal]
More on ChatGPT: BuzzFeed Announces Plans to Use OpenAI to Churn Out Content