My final presentation at the European Conference on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism 2022 was in area I’ve been talking about informally in talks and interviews for some time, but which I have not previously presented as part of a whole talk. As I found out, I easily have enough material for a full 60 minute exploration of artificial intelligence and academic integrity, not just the short version I ended up presenting.
To me, the growth of artificial intelligence systems designed to write like a human offers us a lot of opportunity to write, produce and develop more efficiently. But what should we do if this artificial intelligence technology is misused in an educational setting, for example to write essays or coursework assignments in place of a student?
You can see the slides I used below. They are also on my SlideShare account).
Many of the issues surrounding artificial intelligence and education run in parallel to those seen during the growth of contract cheating. That is why I am keen to draw attention to this issue now, rather than wait until it is too late to take action.
You can find systems that will not only write documents, but will also review and summarise literature, develop presentation states or create artwork. There is a question to be asked about at what stage we consider an artificial intelligence system to have creativity along the lines of a human.
The whole area is complex. As people working in the field will know, intelligence is not really the right word to use for systems like the ones discussed in the presentation. The whole background behind how these systems works is heavily dependent on mathematics and outcomes are often predictable. But many results now are so impressive that the systems look intelligent.
I ended the presentation asking the question how should we work with artificial intelligent technologies in education, rather than against this. If we want to avoid going down the path in which contract cheating has taken education, this is a alternative route that will need both some serious consideration and the adaptation of current practices.