French University Bans Students From Using ChatGPT Text Generator Due to Plagiarism Concerns

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French University Sciences Po has warned its students to refrain from using ChatGPT – an AI text generator launched by OpenAI in November 2022 – to complete their academic assignments.

Though the university, which ranks as one of the top best in France, hasn’t revealed yet how it will detect the use of ChatGPT amongst students, the same is determined to classify its use as fraud and plagiarism, reports.

The university has already emailed students and faculty staff announcing that ChatGPT and all other AI-based tools are banned from use at Sciences Po, highlighting that students using the software for university assignments may be expelled from the university, and prohibited from attending every other French higher education institution.

Without transparent referencing, students are forbidden to use the software for the production of any written work or presentations, except for specific course purposes, with the supervision of a course leader,” the university said.

Sciences Po is not the only university that is concerned with plagiarism and fraught that may arise from the use of ChatGPT, as other world universities are also working towards policies regarding the use of the tool.

It has already been banned in some public schools in the United States, while several universities in this country have announced plans to give students fewer assessments to complete at home and more hand-written essays and oral exams at university classes, as one of the ways to deal with the tool.

Some Canadian universities on the other hand, have no plans on completely banning the tool, but they are still drafting policies on its use, for both students and lecturers.

Commenting on the issue, the manager of discipline and appeals at Dalhousie University, Robert Mann, said that the university’s main concern is fairly and genuinely evaluating students, and for this reason, the appropriateness of such software will be assessed at all times with this concern in mind.

At the moment, the allowable use of ChatGPT is being explored at the program delivery level. That said, there is every possibility that Dalhousie may adopt a more specific position on artificial intelligence tools in the near future, and we are continuing to explore and discuss the issue,” Mann said.

Asked by Global News regarding the use of ChatGPT, acting vice-provost and associate vice-president at UBC Vancouver, Simon Bates, said that all AI tools come with both potential benefits and real challenges, adding that the university is in the process of developing a newsletter and FAQ as part of its educative approach to academic integrity.

Other universities, as the University of Utah, have also revealed that they are developing and revising policies regarding using AI tools like ChatGPT in courses.

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