Students discovered Chat GPT less than a year ago. In January students discovered how the
technology could help with schoolwork and shared what they found with other students. Soon,
students around the world began searching for Chat GPT. Would they use it for research or for
cheating? Many parents and educators feared it would be the latter and some students might
never write another essay themselves.
It’s been a little over a semester and now we may have a good indication of the answer. Yes,
students are definitely using Chat GPT for schoolwork.
And it’s interesting how researchers have come up with that determination. They used Google
Search results.
AI expert Francois Chollet of Google Deep Learning wanted a clearer picture to find out if
students were using Chat GPT.
Using the results, Chollet found searches for Chat GPT spiked in January and exceeded
searches for the popular game Minecraft by mid-April. When summer came and students were
not in school, Google searches for things related to Minecraft jumped while searches for Chat
GPT dropped.
What happened when schools reopened? Searches for Chat GPT rose again, outpacing
searches for Minecraft.
That’s telling but doesn’t help teachers very much when trying to determine if a paper was
written by a student or by Chat GPT.
Some teachers may try to determine if an essay was written by AI by asking Chat GPT. Does
that work?
I asked Chat GPT to write a 100-page paper on the solar system as if written by a 4th grader.
Then by entering the report into Chat GPT and asking if it wrote the paper, Chat GPT confirmed
it did not. When I asked again, however, it admitted that the content was generated by AI.
On Chat GPT’s resource page for teachers, it notes Chat GPT isn’t always correct. It also
notes that sometimes Chat GPT “makes up responses to questions like ‘did you write this?’
Adding the responses are random and have no basis in fact.
Teachers expecting Chat GPT to be helpful in determining whether something was written by AI
or by a student will need to find another way. Chat GPT isn’t reliable when it comes to admitting
its work.