There’s no way for teachers to figure out if students are using ChatGPT to cheat, OpenAI says in new back-to-school guide

OpenAI has offered teachers a guide on how to use ChatGPT in the classroom as the back-to-school season begins.

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Bad news teachers: You have no way to figure out if students are using ChatGPT to cheat.So says OpenAI, the chatbot’s creator, which says AI detectors don’t work reliably.Bots like ChatGPT have been causing mayhem in education over the past few months.

OpenAI is preparing teachers for the back-to-school season, releasing a guide on how to use ChatGPT in the classroom, months after educators raised the alarm on students turning to AI for cheating.

Bad news for teachers and professors though: OpenAI says that sites and apps promising to uncover AI-generated copy in students’ work are unreliable.

In an FAQ section for educators, the company said it had found AI content detectors haven’t “proven to reliably distinguish between AI-generated and human-generated content.”

“When we at OpenAI tried to train an AI-generated content detector, we found that it labeled human-written text like Shakespeare and the Declaration of Independence as AI-generated,” the FAQ states.

Such content detectors also have a tendency to suggest that work by students who don’t speak English as a first language is AI-generated, OpenAI stated, confirming a problem reported earlier by The Markup.

ChatGPT has quickly become a popular tool for students since its release, as its ability to generate text and convincingly human responses makes it a handy tool in assignments such as essay writing and research.

Teachers are concerned however that students are cheating by presenting ideas and phrases from the chatbot as their own, and that they are becoming over-dependent on a tool which remains prone to errors and hallucinations.

Professors began to detect students using ChatGPT to cheat on college essays a little over a month after the chatbot was released in November 2022. A survey earlier this year found that one in four teachers claimed to have caught students cheating by using ChatGPT.

OpenAI acknowledges educators may have to deal with students presenting AI-generated content as their own work, and offers suggestions such as asking students to retain their conversations with ChatGPT and present them in homework.

“By keeping a record of their conversations with AI, students can reflect on their progress over time. They can see how their skills in asking questions, analyzing responses, and integrating information have developed,” OpenAI wrote.

OpenAI also acknowledged that ChatGPT is not free from biases and stereotypes, for instance, so “users and educators should carefully review its content.”

OpenAI did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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