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| 1 minute read

A degree of plagiarism

It seems like we have been talking about the impact of AI on everyday life for many years (primarily because we have), but the public launch of Chat GPT in November 2022 has certainly moved things on. 

As well as being one of the most advanced tools of its kind, its capabilities seem to be cutting though to the public and giving rise to some very immediate and interesting practical challenges, of which policing its use in academic essays, as described in this article, is just one.

To a certain degree "traditional" internet plagiarism has its limits, because articles and sources on the internet are there for all to see, and can be searched for. AI generated content is much harder to detect, because the text is generated to order from a wide blend of sources, and depends on the question posed.

Technology to counter this issue is already under development, so perhaps this is the start of an arms race between teachers and their students; and some academics have already started reverting to more traditional techniques to avoid giving students the opportunity to use AI in their essays. However, as journalist Charles Arthur notes in his, always excellent, "Overspill" column this morning..."Wouldn’t it be ironic if this great advance (at least, that’s how it looks presently) forces our teaching systems to revert to methods that would have been familiar to the ancient Greeks".    

The technology is quite incredible, in some cases it’s not just a pass, it’s a good answer.


intellectual property, technology, artificial intelligence