ChatGPT, favorite new tool of academic cheaters, has released a new tool to help teachers detect cheating using AI like itself.

ChatGPT is an AI application created by OpenAI, which is free to use and can write paragraphs and pages on just about any topic on demand. People have enjoyed using it in creative and artistic ways, but many immediately took advantage. With a few keywords and some tweaking to the finished product, it can be used to write essays, answer take-home test questions, or summarize cited works. Since its launch on November 30, 2022, educators have been discussing its impact on academic dishonesty and what they might have to change to keep it from hindering their students’ education.

Some schools blocked ChatGPT, others have discussed actually using it in classrooms to teach students how to better examine what they read and write, or to generate new ideas for assignments.

In a bid to curb their reputation as nothing more than a machine for cheating, OpenAI released their new AI Text Classifier on Tuesday. Anyone can paste text into the Classifier, and it ought to label it as “very unlikely, unlikely, unclear if it is, possibly, or likely” AI-generated.

Jan Leike, head of OpenAI’s team tasked to make their systems safer, cautions that the new tool is not foolproof, and like any other AI, will continue to refine itself through use.

“We don’t fundamentally know what kind of pattern it pays attention to, or how it works internally,” Leike said. “There’s really not much we could say at this point about how the classifier actually works… Because of that, it shouldn’t be solely relied upon when making decisions.”

Educators all over the country are looking at AI like ChatGPT as a Pandora’s box. There is no putting the technology back in the box, no foolproof way to keep it out of classrooms, so many are considering how education will have to adapt around it, the way math education has had to adapt around the fact that we now all carry a scientific calculator in our pockets every day. Techniques must evolve, and will improve with time.

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