Eureka College's Student Magazine Since 1889

The Eureka College Pegasus

Eureka College's Student Magazine Since 1889

The Eureka College Pegasus

Eureka College's Student Magazine Since 1889

The Eureka College Pegasus

AI Bears Danger of Stealing Student Voices

Wes Adkins

The surge in students using ChatGPT to produce assignments and essays has cast a shadow over academic integrity. Plagiarism, once a concern primarily linked to copy-pasting from the internet, has now evolved into a new realm where students exploit AI-generated text as their own. This trend not only undermines the credibility of educational institutions but also devalues the hard work and genius achievements of students who uphold academic integrity.

Artificial intelligence (AI) generating websites are nothing new this semester for students and professors. In fact, ChatGPT came out November 30, 2022, and is just one of the many AI services sweeping the world. However, the 2023 fall semester was the first time many professors included warnings about the technology in their syllabus. From English professors all the way to Art professors, students were warned of the new dangers. Yet, with each warning also came hope to be able to use the technology in the future. Currently these sites are only being looked at negatively though and regarded as plagiarism.

Like many other professors, Dr. Cory Geraths heard about ChatGPT last year but had few concerns about it. Since then, Geraths explains the service has been a “reckoning” for both staff and students.

Geraths has found a few students that fell into the trap of academic dishonesty already. He explained that faculty has an eye for what seems odd in academic papers. There are certain components and telltale signs that separate human and AI created content.

“Cheating in any capacity is wrong, if you’re overwhelmed come talk to a professor” Geraths said.

ChatGPT and other AI services have new technology that is getting better. Geraths believes professors need to discuss the parameters. While he is open to certain types of AI like this being part of the classroom, he describes it as a “delicate dance.”

ChatGPT is just one of the many AI services professors are now on the lookout for in student writing. Even popular websites such as Grammarly, once used for checking papers, now includes their own AI paper generator services. AI services do not stop just at papers either. Other services can be used to create art, websites, and much more. What is more concerning is that several of these services are completely free, and setting up an account is quick and easy.

The exact methods of operation behind services like ChatGPT is a bit confusing. Different sources explain it as working through a generative pre-trained transformer that uses algorithms to find patterns in data. ChatGPT specifically uses a GPT-3 language model which pulls from collected data to generate answers to whatever questions users may throw at it.

Eureka College’s student handbook has sections regarding cheating, collusion, and plagiarism. Using AI services and claiming them as your own work is considered academic dishonesty and falls under plagiarism. The handbook currently describes plagiarism as, “To use the ideas, words, or work of others as one’s own. This precludes a student from using work submitted to another instructor as original work without prior approval.”

Dr. Ann Fulop, Eureka College Provost and Vice President of academic affairs, explained that she developed AI in her pre academia career, specifically she worked in creating AI and reallocating functions between humans and AI to help with efficiency in business. Fulop sees AI as being both a powerful and dangerous tool. She explained that too many academic violations have already occurred and helped to explain the actions taken in response to these academic violations.

From a student level action will follow the current integrity policy in place. A first violation results in students failing the assignment or course. A second violation results in a meeting with the provost. All of this depends on the nature of violation.

Fulop does not see much value in AI services like ChatGPT. “Why is your voice so important to the community? Because your voice is the community.” She urged students not to take that away from themselves or the community.

“AI can prevent you from learning how to think,” said Fulop. Fulop supports AI that can supplement work such as grammar checkers but explains they must be used as a critique allowing students the choice to change their work.

AI is the way of the future. “Learn as much about AI as you can, it will be pervasive in your adult lives,” Fulop said.

With this new surge of AI services, it is crucial for professors to remain on high look out for academic dishonesty. Looking back at the first paragraph of this article, many would not even have realized it was AI generated until now. It was as simple as typing in “write a news article on students misusing ChatGPT” too. As time progresses there is no doubt these services will become more humanlike. However, it is just as much the student’s job to uphold their own academic integrity.


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About the Contributor
Wes Adkins
Wes Adkins, Editor-in-Chief
Wes Adkins (Metamora IL), a senior pursuing a major in English, is an avid movie fan, artist, and mixologist. When not at Eureka he’s working at Versa Press 40+ hours a week as a bindery operator. After graduation Wes will be moving south to pursue his interests in leadership and management.