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Accused of using AI like ChatGPT to Cheat? A lawyer for students discusses.

by | Jul 12, 2023

With the release of ChatGPT and other Artificial intelligence (AI) programs, colleges and universities are starting to see students use this technology in a variety of ways. While AI is a powerful tool that can legitimately help students do amazing things, it can also be misused to cheat on academic assignments or exams.

So far, I have seen students being accused of using AI to produce essays, summaries, or code. However, as time goes on, it most certainly will be used to answer questions or give hints; using voice or face synthesis to impersonate someone else; or using deepfakes to manipulate videos or images.

Again, while we are just at the start of students being accused of cheating using AI, here are some ways I have seen students being accused:

1. The Use of an AI Checker

Similar to Turnitin or other plagiarism checkers, I have seen professors use what they claim is an “AI checker.” There is much debate as to how reliable these so-called checkers are. In fact, some early research indicates that AI detectors tend to be about 60% accurate on average.

2. Incorrect Facts

If you have tried playing around with AI and asked it to write an essay on a particular topic, chances are that there is going to be some information included in the essay that is flat out incorrect. That’s because the AI is not really “thinking,” it is simply pulling information from many sources to put together a cohesive response. If the information the AI is pulling from is bad, then chances are the essay it puts out will be at least partially wrong. Professors who review essays or code will pick up on these odd errors which is an early sign that the assignment was generated by AI.

3. Odd Sentences or Syntax

Another thing I have seen which triggers suspicion, mainly with essays or papers, is the use of odd sentences, sentence structure, strange phrases, or odd syntax. Again, as much as AI tries to mimic a human, it is not. As a result, oddly phrased wording can pop up. If that happens, a professor or teaching assistant can usually spot it and argue that it was generated from AI.

Because of how new this technology is, universities and faculty are still trying to understand how best to integrate this technology into curriculums and what may or may not constitute cheating if one uses AI.

Can you help me if I am accused of using ChatGPT on an assignment?

Yes. I assist students in all phases of the student disciplinary process. If you find yourself being accused of an academic integrity violation involving an accusation that you used AI, give me a call to discuss how I may be able to help.

Call today for a consultation.

Richard Asselta is a defense lawyer for students facing academic integrity violations throughout the United States. Call today for a consultation. (855) 338-5299