ChatGPT, a generative AI tool developed by OpenAi, has achieved unimaginable popularity after its release last year. Powered by AI, the software has made headlines for its incredible capabilities, including the ability to have human-like conversations, compose texts, write essays, and answer questions in real-time. Many students have adopted this novel application because of its help in doing assignments and other schoolwork.
However, its increasing use has led several universities around the world, including the University of Hong Kong, to ban its use due to academic integrity concerns.
The University of Hong Kong recently joined the list of institutions banning ChatGPT, making it clear that using the tool for educational purposes is illegal and subject to the same measures used for plagiarism crimes.
Vice President of Education He Liren sent an internal letter to lecturers and students stating that using ChatGPT and other AI tools during classes, assignments, and exams is prohibited. Students who use ChatGPT without the instructor’s written permission will face consequences similar to plagiarism.
Students who use ChatGPT to complete various tasks have already experienced the effects of this ban. However, you cannot replace all or part of your homework with ChatGPT text.
Hong Kong University’s Rector Zhang Xiang said he recognizes the importance of AI and data science and wants to promote their development.
“The challenge for us is how to distinguish between a student’s midterm paper whether it is done by themselves or by AI”
To address this issue, teachers can students present relevant papers or work papers and conduct oral and classroom examinations. The school is taking short-term steps to address this issue, planning a campus debate to discuss the use of AI in education. Liren emphasized that schools recognize the importance of AI, but need more time to think about including AI in teaching and learning.
While 90% of her students use her ChatGPT for homework, teachers have expressed concerns about the inconsistency and accuracy of the content generated by the tool. Despite the possible consequences, some students risk citing ChatGPT as the source of their papers.
A study conducted in the United States surveyed 1,000 college students aged 18 and above, revealing that almost 89% of the participants confessed to utilizing ChatGPT while finishing their homework. Additionally, the official account of the Communist Youth League’s Central Committee shared a practical instance in which a second-year student submitted a concise 20-word inquiry and employed ChatGPT to generate a course paper that exceeded 1,200 words.
The resistance of the academic community towards ChatGPT is not restricted to educational institutions as numerous academic journals share similar concerns. In December of last year, Nature published a piece that voiced apprehension regarding ChatGPT’s potential reduction to a mere instrument for students to produce essays. Furthermore, several Chinese industry journals, including C journals, have declared that they will not consider papers that are solely or jointly endorsed by ChatGPT and other LLMs. Authors who attempt to conceal their utilization of ChatGPT will face rejection or retraction.