With AI services like ChatGPT becoming ever more mainstream and popular, people are beginning to wonder if the articles they read online or the essays they've got to write for class can be generated by ChatGPT or something similar. It may seem like that's entirely possible, but it's actually a much more complicated situation.
Not to worry, though, because in this article, we'll explain if people are using AI to AI to cheat in school or write articles online.
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What Is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot that relies on the GPT language model and deep learning to parse data and generate human-like responses to text input.
Essentially, it's like a more complicated version of Google. You can ask ChatGPT a question, and it'll give you an answer, but instead of raw data split across different search results, it'll answer you instantly and conversationally.
Its data is circa that of 2021, and it can certainly get things wrong, and confidently so, but it's generally an effective, fairly awe-inspiring tool, even if it is just a chatbot that's been programmed to understand how to put words together to make normal-sounding sentences and parse data it has been supplied with behind-the-scenes.
This technology is capable of many things, and you can use it to generate an essay about a particular theme in a book just as much as you can use it to summarize a complicated topic or explain something in an easy-to-understand manner broken out into steps.
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So, the question becomes, are people using this kind of technology to generate scripts for YouTube videos and articles on the internet as much as they're using it to cheat in class by having an AI do their homework? You might think this is quickly becoming an epidemic, but that may not be the case.
ChatGPT and Cheating
On one hand, yes, ChatGPT is used by students to cheat, especially when it comes to essays. However, there's a lot more to it.
See, a ChatGPT essay isn't going to necessarily read or feel like a traditional essay written by a student in the same way that if a student buys an essay on the internet and submits it as their own work it won't necessarily read like the work of the student submitting it.
Of course, you can undermine that feeling by rewriting a ChatGPT essay in your own words just as much as you can rewrite an essay written by a friend in your own words. So, while it may be, perhaps, easier to use ChatGPT to cheat effectively (and perhaps cheaper) it's not necessarily meaningfully different from traditional cheating methods of the past.
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The secret, when it comes to cheating, is that you probably can effectively cheat your way through almost any course at any level with enough creativity and effort, but in the end, you're usually just cheating yourself. Maybe it is true that you aren't actually undermining yourself if you forgot about some homework and then copy off a friend, but that can quickly change.
If it becomes a serial habit, well, if you're in college, for example, you're paying for the privilege of being taught, so even if you do manage to sneak out with a grade higher than you deserve, the ultimate goal of the class, learning, is not actually achieved that way. Of course, though, it's easy to argue that every class out there isn't as equally valuable as every other class, but that's more a criticism of academic institutions than it is of students who cheat.
The point being here is that, yes, ChatGPT can be an effective way to cheat, but it's not necessarily that different from the traditional ways of cheating out there, so there isn't too much of a reason to be all that worried that students across the world are exclusively submitting AI work as their own.
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ChatGPT and Online Content: Articles, Scripts, and More
This is a much more interesting question. To start off, yes, tools like ChatGPT and other automatic content creation methods are sometimes used to create content online, and in general, this is frowned upon by the people who make such content to a rather significant degree.
However, it's not a massive amount of content, on one hand, and on the other, it's generally a lot more difficult to call such practices wrong, on their face, in every circumstance. Let's break that down.
Take Epicstream, for example. We've got tons of 'How to Watch' pages up on the site that essentially give you links to where you can find a particular movie or show on the internet. These articles don't usually involve a ton of traditional, manual writing and creation, because the format and style of each one is identical and that kind of work isn't usually best done by writers that could be spending their time creating more engaging original content.
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However, these are generally useful pages, and as such, it's generally useful to have them up on the site. That's where automatic content creation can come in quite useful, benefitting both the site and the user. This is a relatively clear-cut example of using this style of technology to generate online content for good.
Take another example, though, and this situation becomes more complicated. CNET has been experimenting with AI-generated content, and the site trialed using AI to generate articles that were then edited and fact-checked by editors. The problem, though, was that these articles ended up with errors and inaccuracies that weren't helpful to the reader and could have been avoided if these pages were written by humans in the traditional way.
In this case, clearly, using something like ChatGPT to generate content isn't really worth the cost to your reputation and the trust of your readers. Though, it's also fair to point out that it's unlikely these articles would have generated much controversy if they came out without problems and errors, so it's fair to say that as AI gets more advanced, perhaps there is a case to be made for its use in content creation more generally.
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