Is using AI cheating? The question is dividing the world of higher education’
The excitement surrounding ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence tools is causing concern in the academic world. Many American and Australian institutions have already banned their use, associating it with cheating. Their British counterparts, meanwhile, have opted for a more nuanced approach.
On July 4, the 24 higher education institutions in the Russell Group, including the London School of Economics, Imperial College London and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, published their principles on the use of generative AI tools in education. These institutions advocate “ethical and responsible” use of these new technologies to make them fully-fledged teaching tools.
The Russell Group members said they will help their students and staff become familiar with generative artificial intelligence tools, to help them become “leaders in an increasingly AI-enabled world.”
They will adapt their teaching and assessment techniques to take advantage of the possibilities offered by this software when it comes to academic teaching and learning. They are also committed to “cultivating an environment where students can ask questions about specific cases of their use and discuss the associated challenges openly,” without fear of being stigmatized or penalized.
Drawn up with the help of UK education and artificial intelligence specialists, the document highlights the need to monitor the “effectiveness, fairness and ethical implications of the integration of generative AI tools into academic life.”
This is a view shared by Tim Bradshaw, chief executive of the Russell Group.
“The transformative opportunity provided by AI is huge and our universities are determined to grasp it. This statement of principles underlines our commitment to doing so in a way that benefits students and staff and protects the integrity of the high-quality education Russell Group universities provide,” he said in a statement.
Is using ChatGPT cheating?
This document testifies to a change in the attitude of major British universities towards AI.
In March, several of the country’s higher education establishments, including some Russell Group members, banned the use of this technology within their institutions. At the time, students using it as part of their studies were liable to sanctions, up to and including expulsion.
In the UK, the prowess of artificial intelligence tools is worrying and dividing teaching communities. Some believe AI could be used on a massive scale to cheat, while others qualify their real impact on the academic world.
Either way, the debate looks set to continue…