UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — New artificial intelligence programs are popping up rapidly and some can do your homework.
Programs like ChatGPT are making this form of plagiarism easier for students, but it’s raising a slew of ethical concerns for teachers.
“What’s recently happened is the development of these things that we call large language models, sometimes LLMs,” Assistant Professor at the Penn State College of Information Sciences & Techology School Shomir Wilson said.
Wilson said LLMs are large statistical models of how words follow each other in language.
“They’ve been trained on huge volumes of text typically gathered on the internet and what they’re able to do, with some tweaking, is behave as a chatbot,” Wilson said.
Wilson said there’s a growing concern amongst schools where some students have used LLMs to do their assignments.
“These large language models do make it easier to generate text with some concerns again about accuracy,” Wilson said. “That introduces concerns that students might not be learning how to write as well as they should.”
Wilson said there are ways to get a sense that this information would be plagiarized. You could use a plagiarism check on the internet, but there’s no certainty.
“You can get some idea of how similar a document is to something generated by a large language model,” Wilson said. “But not enough to really say, ‘Yes, this is definitively from that.'”
These programs aren’t all bad. Wilson said there are some benefits from using the technology; like for a draft or a summary of information.