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ChatGPT’s formulaic academic content still detectable by AI tools, finds study

A recent study has found that while ChatGPT’s academic style content is more advanced than previous innovations, it still follows a relatively formulaic structure, making it easily detectable by many existing AI-detection tools.

Researchers from Plymouth Marjon University and the University of Plymouth, UK, noted that these results should prompt university faculty to explore methods for educating and mitigating academic dishonesty among students.

The potential of ChatGPT, a Large Language Machine (LLM), to revolutionize research and education has raised concerns across the education sector regarding academic honesty and plagiarism.

This study aimed to address some of these concerns by prompting ChatGPT to generate academic-style content through a series of prompts and questions.

Interestingly, the study involved providing ChatGPT with prompts and questions to produce academic-style content, such as “Write an original academic paper, with references, describing the implications of GPT-3 for assessment in higher education,” “How can academics prevent students from plagiarizing using GPT-3,” and “Produce several witty and intelligent titles for an academic research paper on the challenges universities face in ChatGPT and plagiarism.”

According to a study published in Innovations in Education and Teaching International, the content generated by ChatGPT was pasted into a manuscript following the suggested structure, and genuine references were then inserted throughout the text.

The study’s authors disclosed the process of generating the academic paper using ChatGPT only in the discussion section of the research paper, which was written by the researchers themselves and not the software. The latest chatbot and AI platform, ChatGPT, was launched in November 2022 and is anticipated to bring about exciting opportunities in the academic world. However, as ChatGPT continues to advance, it presents significant challenges for the academic community.

As it becomes more sophisticated, ChatGPT presents considerable challenges for the academic community.

“This latest AI development obviously brings huge challenges for universities, not least in testing student knowledge and teaching writing skills – but looking positively it is an opportunity for us to rethink what we want students to learn and why.

“I’d like to think that AI would enable us to automate some of the more administrative tasks academics do, allowing more time to be spent working with student,” said the study’s lead author Debby Cotton, professor at Plymouth Marjon University.

“The chat (sic) is already out of the bag, and the challenge for universities will be to adapt to a paradigm where the use of AI is the expected norm,” said corresponding author Peter Cotton, associate professor at University of Plymouth.

(With inputs from PTI)

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