To be verified…

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Half-listening to the news on BBC Radio 4 this morning, I was jerked to full attention during the regular quick look at the front pages of today’s UK newspapers. The Times has a front-page report declaring that the International Baccalaureate (IB) allowing students to use artificial intelligence to help them write their essays as long as they credit the AI used.

News to me!

Quick checks: the BBC News website includes front-page views of today’s newspapers (for a limited time only, possibly for copyright reasons). I took a screengrab.

The headline reads: Exams body lets pupils use AI chatbot to write essays.

The Times website carries the story as well – unfortunately behind a paywall, and The Times is not a newspaper to which I subscribe.

A quick Google check for [artificial intelligence international baccalaureate] – using the News feature and limiting the search to the last week found just one mention of the story –

Google search [artificial intelligence international baccalaureate]

the story in today’s The Times. There are several stories of students being punished for using artificial intelligence, even in IB schools.

Checks on the open IB website and in the closed-access My IB find no mention of this. It looks as if The Times has a world exclusive! (The thought that the newspaper had fallen victim to a hoax crossed my mind.)

Having bought a print copy of the newspaper, I wonder about the accuracy of the headline Exams body lets pupils use AI chatbot to write essays – that “lets” may be a trifle misleading. It implies that the IB already allows students to use AI in their work for assessment. The second paragraph states

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Back to basics, again

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News that CHATGPT had “sprinted” to one million users in just five days, exponentially faster than any other online service, has itself spread fast. The chart produced by Statista has been reproduced many many times, it is big news.

Articles about ChatGPT and AI generally seem to be increasing almost as fast, and my last post here, Here we are again!, just added to the number.  News that Google is about to launch its own chatbot, Bard, keeps the story much alive. Those commenting on developments in the AI field must feel that it is sometimes hard to keep up. 

Meanwhile, many in education and other fields fear that ChatGPT will make plagiarism and other forms of non-authentic work easier.  On the other hand, there are many, even in education, who see great potential in ChatGPT, see ways it can make their work easier. Some hold that it could lead to improved work and enhance critical thinking and student creativity.  At the same time, Courtney Cullen, in a post on the International Centre for Academic Integrity (ICAI) site, Artificial Intelligence: Friend, Foe, or Neither?, strikes a balance; shewelcomes “the increased focus on academic integrity” in educational circles.  We want our students to learn and show that they are learning, not simply to parrot, possibly unread, something generated by a machine.

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Here we are again!

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Since ChatGPT was first launched towards the end of 2022, there has been much alarm expressed in schools and colleges, in discussion forums, blogs and other social media platforms, in the educational press and in the general press too. There has also been calmer discussion; we shall come to that.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) text-generator, developed by OpenAI.  Its appearance marks a huge step forward in the evolution of AI.  To now, text-based AI has been uninspiring and flawed: think of the chatbots used by many support centres Continue reading