With the start of a new semester, we welcome back the challenges and assignments that we said goodbye to over the holiday break. These challenges and assignments will of course be remedied with traditional resources such as textbooks, quizlets, sparknotes, etc.
They will also have to face an ever adapting and clever student population whose procrastination knows no bounds.
This boundless procrastination enables students to not only exhibit astronomical amounts of focus and energy mere hours before due dates, but also pushes students to find new and better resources to leap over the hurdles of classwork and homework.
One such emerging resource is ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence tools that have the ability to write essays and in some cases avoid plagiarism algorithms.
ChatGPT is “a ‘language machine’ that uses statistics, reinforcement learning and supervised learning to index words, phrases and sentences,” according to industry professional Josh Bersin. In simpler terms, ChatGPT has the ability to write and answer questions as well as refine answers which means essays that once took an entire night of cramming and a case of Red Bull will now take mere minutes.
The question now becomes: How will this affect college assignments? More specifically, how will this affect my GPA and conversations with my mother about my grades?
The Oxford English dictionary defines plagiarism as “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own,” but would work produced using AI be considered someone else’s if I gave the AI software the instructions?
Lane Kiffin and I both played a combined 0 downs this season for the Ole Miss football team, but his record for the year was a middling 8-5 while mine was still 0-0 simply because he gave instructions.
If I were to “coach” AI to mimic my writing style and answer prompts in a way that I would, who is to say that the work produced is not an accurate representation of my ideas and thoughts?
When I read the traditional definition of plagiarism, it seems that to plagiarize, there must first be something to copy. When you first open ChatGPT, there is not already an essay readily available specifically answering my prompt. So, who is to say that you plagiarized, and who exactly did you plagiarize?
While currently, there is major pushback concerning ChatGPT, let’s not pretend that it is the first of its kind. When writing essays, we already have access to many sophisticated and helpful AIs, such as spell check, autocorrect, Grammarly and even autocomplete. Each of these programs significantly improves writing ability and none of them are considered unfair, cheating or plagiarism.
To be for real, ChatGPT and its fellow essay bots are simply the scientific calculators of writing in a world that is still obsessed with four-function calculators.
Jaylin Jones is a senior real estate major from Lucedale, Miss