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My students are using AI to cheat. Here’s why it’s a teachable moment

By Siva Vaidhyanathan

19 May 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media studies professor, argues that we shouldn’t panic about the use of AI in education. Instead, we should use it as an opportunity to teach students how to think critically.

In my spring lecture course of 120 students, my teaching assistants caught four examples of students using artificial-intelligence-driven language programs like ChatGPT to complete short essays. In each case, the students confessed to using such systems and agreed to rewrite the assignments themselves.

With all the panic about how students might use these systems to get around the burden of actually learning, we often forget that as of 2023, the systems don’t work well at all. It was easy to spot these fraudulent essays. They contained spectacular errors. They used text that did not respond to the prompt we had issued to students. Or they just sounded unlike what a human would write.

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