A concerning number of students using AI to write papers

ChatGPT and OpenAI phones

OpenAI launched ChatGPT back in November 2022, prompting Google and other companies to release their generative AI tools. These models have revolutionized many aspects of work and life, and education is no exception. However, the influence of AI isn’t universally beneficial, particularly when it comes to writing papers.

Nearly 11% of papers contain at least 20% contribution of AI

The news comes from Turnitin, a leader in academic integrity for more than 25 years. Their dedicated AI engineering team launched an AI writing detection tool in April 2023, just months after the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Since then, Turnitin has been conducting an extensive study with the help of its AI writing detection tool with over 200 million papers submitted by students. They have been looking for the use of AI in the papers that are considered to be at least one of the parameters that represent how wise a student is.

Notably, the result they got is surprising, to say the least. Approximately 11% of the 200 million papers (over 22 million) from students contain at least 20% contribution of AI models. Approximately 3% (over 6 million) of papers contained at least 80% contribution of AI.

Furthermore, Turnitin also shared another recent study conducted by Tyton Partners. According to their survey, nearly half of the students are using generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT on a regular basis. Notably, 75 percent of the students surveyed said that they will continue to use AI tools even if their institutions ban them.

There needs to be open discussions about the fair use of this technology

“We’re at an important juncture in education where technologies are transforming learning, and the need for academic integrity is more critical than ever,” said Annie Chechitelli, chief product officer of Turnitin. She also noted that their AI writing detection feature should help in finding instances where students have unfairly used AI to write their papers.

Nonetheless, the successful detection of AI-written papers isn’t a complete solution. As Turnitin suggests, there needs to be open discussions about the fair use of the technology. AI has a lot of potential to revolutionize education in a more positive way. Students can use AI to find, summarize, and translate information from another language faster and easier than ever.