English teacher keeps an eye on AI trends

by Karina Correa | tech editor

Generative Pre-trained Transformer also known as ChatGPT is an AI capable of answering any of your questions and creates nearly anything you ask. From crafting ideas to HTML codes, ChatGPT is here to stay.  But it’s these same advanced features that are generating discussions about academic integrity.

“It is plagiarism and so the same policies that apply to plagiarism the district policies apply to that,” English teacher Jesse Hall said.

Differentiating between a student essay and an AI essay can get tricky – so teachers are relying on GPT Zero. The website scans the essay or assignment and determines the chances if it’s a student or AI-written work. 

“I use the GPT Zero which is the top of the line right now. It’s always been developed, but it catches synchronous words, meaning that there’s no way a student could have had the same line of words unless they themselves published it,” Hall said. “That the artificial intelligence found it. So that’s one way and then the other is your previous work.”

Hall says he confronts the student about the issue no differently than he would if their works are plagiarized. He also adds that ChatGPT is not needed even for other school-related assignments.

“It’s still new and it’s my personal opinion, it’s not needed,” Hall said. “It’s just the student’s own thoughts and writings and of course the instructor or their peers, helping them develop their writing.”

According to Hall, students already have a wealth of resources available online that turning to AI software like ChatGPT shouldn’t be necessary.

“Obviously they can go online and there’s tons of sources, some that even teachers use themselves to assist students with their writing,” Hall said. “There’s models that they can look at and read. I know I use them in my class. And but again, it always comes down to whether it’s a peer or teacher that has more experience than that, it eventually comes down to that.”

At this time, ChatGPT joins the list of blocked websites on campus meaning students who do use it must do so off campus.

“I mean, I hope that on both sides, one, catching people who use it as you further develop and then the other end, if it is going to be around to develop it so that it’s not easily accessible in terms of what it’s been used for now that’s having a machine completely right doing essays,” Hall said.

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