UK Universities Criticized for Not Addressing AI-Assisted Cheating

United Kingdom Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 06, 2023

person holding green paper written artifical intelligence

Universities in the United Kingdom have received strong criticism after refusing to take part in the launch of new technology this week aimed at addressing artificial intelligence-assisted cheating.

Institutions were accused of allowing students to cheat in exams themselves, after boycotting the rollout of new software seeking to address the risk of student cheating. On the other hand, academics argued the implementation of the new technology would be very close to exams.

About 98 percent of universities use Turnitin, a service to detect plagiarism in student assignments. The company has recently updated the software following the increase in the number of students cheating in their work by using artificial intelligence technology, The Daily Mail reports.

Despite academics’ concerns, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, Chris McGovern, a UK-based non-profit organization focused on raising standards and improving choice in state education, said universities’ decision to boycott is the same as “aiding and abetting cheating.”

A spokesman for Universities UK (UUK), an organization representing 140 universities, said that universities are dedicated to academic integrity and have gained sufficient experience in detecting artificial intelligence-generated work.

The issue of artificial intelligence and cheating is not a topic of discussion only in the UK but also in other countries, where universities are panicking over rapid developments in cheating due to AI technology.

In January, French University Sciences Po, one of the best in France, banned students from using the artificial intelligence tool - ChatGPT and other AI-based tools to complete academic assignments. However, this university has not specified how it will detect plagiarism.

“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.

In an email to students and faculty, Science Po said that those using artificial intelligence tools to complete essays and other work would be punished, and the punishment may be getting expelled from the university or French higher education.

In the United States, half of the college students participating in a survey by BestCollege said using ChatGPT for student work is plagiarism. The same has revealed that 50 percent of students have already used artificial intelligence tools to complete academic assignments, and 43 percent have experience with AI technologies.

Cheating at universities and colleges is on the rise, reaching epidemic proportions. Amid the need to detect AI-generated content, experts have warned that AI is at a point where it can complete a whole project and other AI tools can modify and make cheating untraceable.

>> University of Texas at Austin Launches New Online Master’s Program in Artificial Intelligence

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