young me: i wonder if this new technical thing is cool
middle-aged me: i wonder if i can avoid knowing about this new technical thing until it goes away
A number of seniors at Texas A&M University–Commerce who already walked the stage at graduation this year have been temporarily denied their diplomas after a professor ineptly used AI software to assess their final assignments, the partner of a student in his class — known as DearKick on Reddit — claims to Rolling Stone.
Dr. Jared Mumm, a campus rodeo instructor who also teaches agricultural classes, sent an email on Monday to a group of students informing them that he had submitted grades for their last three essay assignments of the semester. Everyone would be receiving an “X” in the course, Mumm explained, because he had used “Chat GTP” (the OpenAI chatbot is actually called “ChatGPT”) to test whether they’d used the software to write the papers — and the bot claimed to have authored every single one.
“I copy and paste your responses in [ChatGPT] and [it] will tell me if the program generated the content,” he wrote, saying he had tested each paper twice. He offered the class a makeup assignment to avoid the failing grade — which could otherwise, in theory, threaten their graduation status.
There’s just one problem: ChatGPT doesn’t work that way. The bot isn’t made to detect material composed by AI — or even material produced by itself — and is known to sometimes emit damaging misinformation. With very little prodding, ChatGPT will even claim to have written passages from famous novels such as Crime and Punishment.
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