Using ChatGPT is now a punishable offence


Since its grand entry into the internet in November of last year, ChatGPT has been a phenomenon. This generative AI tool is good at writing papers, doing homework and helping wherever a student needs help. While many people laud ChatGPT, it remains a threat to academics. More universities around the world are now banning the use of ChatGPT. Some are even making its use a punishable offence, the same as plagiarism. Thus, any punishment that is obtainable for plagiarism is what users of ChatGPT will get. TheĀ University of Hong Kong is the latest to join the ever-increasing list of universities banning ChatGPT.

Microsoft ChatGPT Metaverse

The university expressly prohibits teachers and students from using ChatGPT for teaching purposes. It also says that it is illegal to use this AI tool and the punishment will be the same as plagiarism offences.Ā The University of Hong Kong has also becomeĀ the first university in China to explicitly ban ChatGPT.Ā Specifically, He Liren, the vice president of the University of Hong Kong who is in charge of teaching work, stipulates the following in an internal letter sent to teachers and students:

  • Prohibit the use of ChatGPT or other AI tools in class, assignments and other assessments
  • If the student does not obtain the written permission of the course teacher when using it, it will be regarded as taking other people’s works, involving deception. This simply means that it will be treated as plagiarism.

Hong Kong university students who use ChatGPT to complete math, code, composition, and thesis assignments in one stop are probably already expressing their sorrow with their heads rushing.

When not to use ChatGPT

Students can not use ChatGPT text to replace part or an entire homework. Previously, Zhang Xiang, the president of the University of Hong Kong, had already made important remarks. He claims that the university will promote the development of AI and data science. However, it will face some AI issues.

“The challenge for us is how to distinguish between a student’s midterm paper whether it is done by themselves or by AI”

If a student is suspected of using AI tools such as ChatGPT to complete assignments, teachers can ask students to introduce relevant papers or works. Teachers can also set up oral exams, increase classroom exams and other measures to test. The email also mentions that the school is just taking a short term measure for now. This is because it will need a long time to consider incorporating AI tools into learning and teaching. He Liren emphasized in the email that the school recognizes the importance of AI. It is also planning to hold a campus debate to invite teachers, and students to discuss this. Based on the response efficiency of ChatGPT, some students claim that it is really convenient to use it to find info.

Google ChatGPT

90% of students use it for homework

The concerns of the University of Hong Kong are legitimate. Based on the instability of the content generated by ChatGPT, some teachers said that ChatGPT could not complete high-level assignments. However, some students still took the risk of citing the source of ChatGPT’s papers.

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According to a survey of 1,000 college students over the age of 18 in the United States, as many as 89% of respondents admitted to using ChatGPT when completing homework. The official account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League also cited a real-life case in which a sophomore student entered a question of only 20 words and generated a course paper of more than 1,200 words with the help of ChatGPT.

Several universities have banned ChatGPT

Various phenomena have already caused discussion and panic in the education sector, and the University of Hong Kong is no longer among the first to take action.Ā Many universities and education systems in many countriesĀ have previously bannedĀ students from using ChatGPT.

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As early as early December last year, the Los Angeles Unified School District suspended its access to the ChatGPT website. Since January, many schools have banned ChatGPT including but not limited to New York City public schools, top French university Sciences, some universities in Australia and so on

All the schools mentioned above are so “fearful” of ChatGPT. The reasons for the ban are all linked to “involving plagiarism and fraud”.

NYC Department of Education spokeswoman Jenna Lyle said in a statement:

ChatGPT may negatively impact student learning, and there is no guarantee of the safety and accuracy of the content it produces;

While it can provide quick and easy answers, it doesn’t develop students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The “resistance” of the academic community to ChatGPT is not limited to schools. Many journals have also shown similar ideas.Ā Nature published an article in early December last year. The paper expresses concern about ChatGPT being reduced to a tool for students to write essays. A number of C journals in the Chinese industry have stated that they will not accept articles signed individually or jointly by ChatGPT and other LLMs. Those who conceal the use of ChatGPT will be rejected or withdrawn.

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ChatGPT is loved as much as it is despised

Of course, not everyone is opposed to adding ChatGPT to the homework completion process.Ā Bhaskar Vira, the vice president of education at the University of Cambridge, stated his position in an interview with the school newspaper. In his eyes, AI is a tool for people to use. It is not wise for the university to disable AI tools such as ChatGPT.

His view is that “blocking is better than sparseness”, and schools should make adjustments. They should adjust the teaching and exam process to ensure that students maintain academic integrity when using similar tools. There are even teachers who are ā€œlike-mindedā€ with the students who use AI tools.

Internet celebrity philosopher Slavoj Zizek is very optimistic to support everyone using various AI tools, and said excitedly: Don’t disable it!

My students use AI to write papers, and I use AI to grade them after they are handed in.Ā That wayĀ we’re all free and easy,Ā aren’t we?Ā !

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