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New artificial intelligence might make cheating in school easy, UMBC tech professor explains

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Posted at 9:03 PM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 16:37:33-05

BALTIMORE — A new artificial intelligence software, which can generate an essay at the touch of a button, could open the door to more cheating in schools.

The district in America’s biggest city, New York, has already banned ChatGPT from their networks.

"It can create very life-like verbiage, words," said Dr. Rick Forno, assistant director of the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity.

ChatGPT, Forno explains, can be used in positive ways - like quickly generating information. But the software's potential to create an assignment in seconds could threaten academic integrity.

"You can ask it a question, it will do the research in its own archives around the internet, and then develop a paper or essay of any number of, whatever length you ask it,” Forno added.

It’s on the radar of Baltimore schools, too. In a statement sent to WMAR, the district said it is "aware of this rapidly emerging technology and the national discussion educators are having about it."

"City schools will continue to learn more about it and work closely with our teachers, instructional technology specialists, and school leaders on how to best address this with our students," the statement continued.

In light of the new technology, Forno suggests teachers ask students to include references or a presentation with an assignment.

"Within the school environment, plagiarism and Chat-G-P-T, for the moment, go hand-in-hand,” Forno added.