Faculty adapt to rise of AI-generated text technology

(April Lawyer/Staff Cartoonist)

Daniel Sinykin, professor of digital humanities at Emory University, will tell you that ChatGPT can impress Krusty the Clown very convincingly, which he discovered when he used ChatGPT openly and proactively in a classroom setting.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot launched by the artificial intelligence laboratory OpenAI in November 2018. 30. The technology can generate nuanced textual responses to short prompts from students, asking them to answer questions or even write entire papers.this creates anxiety The platform’s human-like writing capabilities have been embraced by some education leaders and professors due to their potential use for academic assignments.

Sinkykin does not fall into this category. In his introductory digital humanities course, he uses ChatGPT to summarize the vast field of digital humanities to the class.

“ChatGPT is very good at summarizing a wide range of topics in a concise, persuasive manner,” Sinykin said.

To demonstrate the capabilities of this over-criticized technology, he prompted a chatbot to do the same task, this time with the voice of Krusty the Clown.

“It’s a pretty good parody of the Joker, actually,” says Sidney King.

Sinykin says his expertise in digital humanities has allowed him to address the rise of new digital technologies like ChatGPT. The program doesn’t whisper him; instead, he says he thinks ChatGPT should prompt professors to rethink the way they teach, rather than blame students for using technology.

“If we’re creating assignments that can be replicated by a computer program, is there some robot in the assignment that we’re asking students to do first?” asked Sinikin. “Are we thinking hard enough about what kind of learning is happening in the kind of assignments we’re asking for?”

Sinikin said he believed changing teaching methods would be enough to deter students from cheating.

“Maybe ChatGPT will make us think more deeply about how to provide students with something that they find valuable,” he said. “It’s partly up to us to design what students think is valuable in itself, rather than outsource it to computers.”

Emory University Honors Council Chair Jason Ceijka, on the other hand, focused on what ChatGPT means for the classroom environment in terms of plagiarism and honor code violations.Emory University honor code states, “Whenever any idea is taken from a particular work… Students should give credit where credit is due. “

Ceijka explained that under this section of the honor code, the only way students can ethically use ChatGPT is if the program is required for a course project. However, he said students must “acknowledge the source” and obtain the professor’s permission to use the site.

“Students should not assume that they can use ChatGPT to write a paper,” Ceijka said. “By definition, this is plagiarism.”

Ceijka first heard about ChatGPT in December. 2022, as it becomes very common in national media during this time. He observes a lot of media in the education industry, especially with his professional organization, the International Center for Academic Integrity.

On Jan. 1, he met with Emory colleagues interested in academic technology and academic integrity. 17 Discuss via Zoom how academic staff and professors are responding to the challenges posed by this new technology. The session focused on finding “teacher experts” who could help facilitate conversations with those less familiar with the technology about what’s going on and how they might be using it or adapting their assignments to reduce the impact on students using it as a Plagiarism form concerns.

While the Emory University Honors Council has not yet dealt with any cases of Emory students using ChatGPT as a plagiarism tool, Ceijka has heard of it from colleagues at other universities.

To address this problem, some public school systems have prohibit Use ChatGPT on their Wi-Fi network to prevent plagiarism. Across the United States, discussions around planning a response to ChatGPT have risen to a higher education priority.Universities are trying to outdo chatbots in the following ways create More complex assignments, stricter grading policies, and priority Classwork and handwriting assignments.Universities such as Washington University in St. Louis and University of Vermont soon Revise Their code of honor flags using AI-generated text as a form of plagiarism.

Ceijka said some of his colleagues at other universities have indicated that their faculty may rearrange handwritten papers or assign more classwork.He also mentioned that there are currently some artificial intelligence detection platforms, such as GPT zero and hand inBut he’s heard mixed reviews about their reliability.

Ceijka predicts that because the technology is so new, there won’t be a standard approach that faculty across schools can adopt.

“Some people will really embrace it and actively use it in the classroom, while others may be more cautious, but I hope we’ll see the full spectrum,” Ceijka said.

Christopher Black, professor of economics at Oxford University, expressed unease about the technology’s ability to fix things.

My concern is that even if society improves, this disruptive technology itself will make some people’s lives worse and others better,” Black said. “One of the effects of the Internet and ChatGPT The only difference between may be the magnitude of the effect, which of course is unknown, but given the potential of the technology, it could be larger. ”

He also said he was concerned that the advent of ChatGPT would impair students’ critical thinking skills.

“The Internet is too vast for a single person to digest, explain, criticize and analyze, but ChatGPT provides additional support that can be used for good or bad,” he said.

Believing in ChatGPT’s inevitable staying power, Sinykin says our efforts are better spent learning how to actively incorporate the technology into academic settings, rather than passively coding it as a cheating device.

“If students can use this technology to achieve the same level, then we should have students think about how to use this technology, rather than immediately thinking that we need to go back in time or try to prevent the progress that is happening,” Sinikin said.

Jacqui Leigh Russell (25C) said she didn’t know about ChatGPT until one of her professors made it clear not to use it in assignment guidance.

“I’m afraid to use it now,” Russell said. “I don’t really realize what it does, and I don’t want to get in trouble for accidentally misusing it. So I’d rather stay away from it just to be safe.”

On the other hand, Helen Khuri (25C) expressed optimism about the benefits of ChatGPT, saying it shouldn’t “become something to be feared”.

“I think we should use it,” Khuri said. “I don’t want to write it off just because it has the ability to be ‘bad.’ Part of being successful is using resources wisely and responsibly, and AI is the latest resource.”

Sinykin has already started to proactively incorporate ChatGPT into the assignments he assigns to his students. For future assignments, he said he plans to have students try to use the program to create “the strongest papers they can do.” By “learning how to use ChatGPT,” he said, they’ll be able to “realize what the criteria for good writing are in this context,” and discover what ChatGPT excels at and where it fails to replicate human writing.

“Detection is only a small part of the solution,” Ceijka said. “Really, it’s about how we as teachers adapt our pedagogy. And, how do we use different forms of assessment and evaluation to make sure students are learning?”

Ceijka said he is optimistic that academia can rise to the challenge.

“Most of us recognize that this is a new technology, and we’ve come across other new technologies that impact the way we teach,” he said. “So, whether it’s the calculator, or the advent of the Internet, or ChatGPT, the faculty Industries and universities have responded to these things in the past, and they will respond to new technologies that will emerge in the future.”


Chaya Tong (25C) is from the Bay Area, California and plans to major in English and Biology. Outside of The Wheel, she enjoys drawing, music, and running.

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