CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A number of students in a class at Cape Coral High School have been accused of using artificial intelligence (AI) to cheat on an essay.
According to an email NBC2 received from the program coordinator of Cape Coral High School’s International Baccalaureate Program to parents of students, some submitted essays appear to have been written using artificial intelligence.
“Some IB papers were submitted that are somewhat questionable…including the very different style of writing from previously submitted papers,” the program coordinator wrote to parents.
Cape Coral High School Students Cheat Using ChatGPT by Gage Goulding – NBC2 on Scribd
Students on Cape Coral High School’s IB Theory of Knowledge course reportedly used a platform like ChatGPT, which uses AI language models to generate responses to prompts.
What is ChatGPT? We asked the online AI platform for an explanation. Here is the answer we got:
“ChatGPT is an AI-powered conversational agent or chatbot developed by OpenAI. It is a large language model trained on massive amounts of text data to understand and generate natural language answers to a wide variety of questions and topics.
ChatGPT uses deep learning techniques, specifically a type of neural network called Transformer, to analyze and understand the context of a specific conversation or request and generate responses that are appropriate and relevant. As a result, ChatGPT can hold text-based conversations with users that are increasingly human-like and conversational.
ChatGPT is used in a variety of applications, including customer service, online chat support, personal assistants, and even entertainment and gaming. Its ability to understand and respond to natural language has made it a powerful tool for facilitating human-machine communication and interaction.”
“I’m not sure the students’ learning needs will be best met through the use of this device,” said Kevin Daly, president of the Lee County Teachers’ Association. “I’ve never heard of it in education. It seems like it has the ability to be abused.”
Students are accused of doing just that, asking ChatGPT to write their essays for them and handing them in to their IB courses as if they had written them themselves.
“I’ve heard a lot about it. All the seniors are all talking about it,” Sophia Fallacara said.
“There’s a whole controversy about it,” added Michael Clayton.
While it may sound like a foreign language to some, it is a well-known resource for Cape Coral High School students.
“I used another website, but not for IB. It was like essays in Spanish,” said Jannell Aviles.
Just ask ChatGPT. It’s not a good idea to let the program write your essay. It’s cheating.
When we asked ChatGPT, “Can you write my essay for me?” The program returned this message:
“I’m sorry, but as an AI language model, I am unable to write an essay for you. However, I can give you some tips and guidelines to help you write your essay effectively.”
The Lee County School District told NBC2 that using AI to complete coursework will not be tolerated and is a violation of the IB Program’s Academic Integrity Program.
“We do not tolerate cheating. Students violating the Code of Conduct and Academic Integrity Policy will be disciplined. As part of our ongoing cybersecurity efforts, our Information Services team continues to strengthen Chromebook security features to prevent the use of AI to aid student work. Due to the ongoing review, it is inappropriate to comment further.” — Lee County School District
The International Baccalaureate (IB) program also told NBC2 that using AI technology like ChatGPT is against their policies and that the program is working to help schools recognize their use.
“The use of ChatGPT or any other method that results in a student submitting work that is not their own violates the IB’s Academic Integrity Policy. IB expects all IB World Schools to discuss with students all types of academic misconduct and how work can be developed consistent with academic honesty.
We understand the concerns expressed by educators about the impact of AI and how it will impact curriculum development and assessment at the IB. We develop robust guidelines for schools.
However, we also understand that AI is a sophisticated technology that offers educational opportunities for students and educators and could be a useful tool to support teaching and learning. In collaboration with our community, we continue to explore the benefits and risks, as well as the longer-term impact of AI on assessment.” – The International Baccalaureate Program
On the other hand, there are students who think using AI isn’t cheating given that you have to provide ChatGPT thoughts, ideas, and prompts to get an answer.
“If you can’t put your words together, but it’s your ideas, I don’t think it’s cheating,” Fallacara said.
“It should be their own original work. You should respond to an assignment as best you can,” added Daly.
Lee County schools use software called TurnItIn to detect plagiarism. However, detecting AI is a whole different ballgame.
“There’s no way to compare it to anything in TurnItIn because it’s an original source in and of itself,” Daly said. “I think the system will be at a disadvantage for a considerable time until we’re able to get some reasonable sort of firewalls and guard rails to see that this isn’t being abused and students are doing original work.”
Lee County Schools declined to comment on the consequences these students may face. However, if the work converted into the IB is not their own, students may not pass the course, which in turn means they may not graduate.
The county declined to tell NBC2 how many kids were caught cheating or if some may not graduate as a result of the scandal.
However, a district spokesman said this is the first AI fraud situation they have seen at one of their schools.
The thought of punishment is enough to deter some students from even trying.
“I’d rather take a C than a flunk and ‘You’re not going to college,'” Ariana Thompson said.
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