NEW YORK WEATHER

The dramatic rise of online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic has spotlit concerns about the role of technology in exam surveillance – and also in student cheating.

Some universities have reported more cheating during the pandemic, and such concerns are unfolding in a climate where technologies that allow for the automation of writing continue to improve.

Over the past two years, the ability of artificial intelligence to generate writing has leapt forward significantly, particularly with the development of what’s known as the language generator GPT-3. With this, companies such as Google, Microsoft and NVIDIA can now produce “human-like” text.

AI-generated writing has raised the stakes of how universities and schools will gauge what constitutes academic misconduct, such as plagiarism. As scholars with an interest in academic integrity and the intersections of work, society and educators’ labour, we believe that educators and parents should be, at the very least, paying close attention to these significant developments.

AI and writing

The use of technology in academic writing is already widespread. For example, many universities already use text-based plagiarism detectors like Turnitin, while students might use Grammarly, a cloud-based writing assistant. Examples of writing support include automatic text generation, extraction, prediction, mining, form-filling, paraphrasing, translation and transcription.

Advancements in AI technology have led to new tools, products and services being offered to writers to improve content and efficiency. As these improve, soon entire articles or essays might be generated and written entirely by artificial intelligence. In schools, the implications…

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