Cheating by students using ChatGPT is already on the rise, surveys suggest

Two new surveys of teachers have revealed how an increasing number of students are already using OpenAI’s AI chatbot ChatGPT to cheat in tests and complete their homework assignments.

A recent survey by the online education resource found more than a quarter of over 200 surveyed K-12 teachers have already caught at least one student cheating using ChatGPT.

The survey of 203 teachers found about 26 per cent of them caught a student cheating using ChatGPT.

In the same survey, however, about two-thirds of the teachers did not believe ChatGPT should be banned in schools.

The AI chatbot gained prominence in December last year for its ability to respond to a range of queries with human-like text output.

People using the AI application have showed the different ways it can be used to answer specific questions or prompts, write essays and cover letters and even crack university exams.

Last month, a professor from Pennsylvania’s Wharton School showed the chatbot can pass the final exam of an MBA programme designed for students.

Another study also found the AI tool passed the US medical licensing exam USMLE – a three-part exam that usually takes students about four years of med school and about two years of clinical rotations to pass.

Researchers found in this study that ChatGPT “performed at or near the passing threshold for all three exams without any specialised training”.

Another survey of educators last month pointed out that they were split in their perceptions on whether the AI bot would make teaching easier or harder.

In this survey of about 100 educators and 1,000 students, over 70 per cent of college professors expressed concerns about the bot’s use by students for cheating.

About a third of the surveyed educators believed ChatGPT should be banned in schools and universities, while the remaining two-thirds supported students having access to it.

This study also found that nearly 90 per cent of the surveyed students used ChatGPT to help with a homework assignment, while about half of them admitted to using ChatGPT for an at-home test or quiz.

These findings have raised concerns among academics that the AI’s use may disrupt academia.

The New York City education department previously noted that it was worried about the negative impacts of the chatbot on student learning, expressing “concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content”.

“There will be scary moments as we move towards AGI-level systems, and significant disruptions, but the upsides can be so amazing that it’s well worth overcoming the great challenges to get there,” OpenAI chief Sam Altman had tweeted.