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Worrying signs? AI usage in academic writing has gone up, says report

Academic integrity is currently a reason for concern for instructors and lecturers when a paper contains more than 30% of content generated by artificial intelligence

According to recent research from online essay submission service and plagiarism checker Turnitin, millions of students are using generative artificial intelligence-powered tools to write their papers.

When Turnitin’s AI detector tool was introduced in April 2023, it discovered that out of the 200 million papers uploaded on the platform, over 22 million papers had at least 20% AI-generated content. This indicates that approximately 11% of the students were at fault.

The potential scope of the issue is demonstrated by the discovery that six million papers, or roughly 3% of all papers, had at least 80% AI-generated content.

The Number Gets Alarming

In addition to stressing the value of independent work in the academic setting, Turnitin CPO Annie Chechitelli pointed out that institutions need to maintain their integrity.

“Everyone in education is looking for resources to enable them to perform at their best, and technologies, including our artificial intelligence writing detection feature, help advance learning without sacrificing academic integrity,” Chechitelli said, as reported by TechRadar.

The prevalence of AI-generated content in academic settings is confirmed by Turnitin’s report, which calls for a more comprehensive approach than merely identifying AI-generated work and describes it as a “complex, ever-evolving puzzle.”

The company suggests that rewriting essay prompts, reviewing current academic policies, and having candid conversations with students about the appropriate use of artificial intelligence writing could all help address the issue.

Even though only a small percentage of students turn in computer-generated work, Turnitin reports on a different study conducted by Tyton Partners which finds that almost 50% of students regularly use GenAI tools like ChatGPT, and 75% of them say they plan to keep using them even if their schools threaten to ban them.

According to the same study, academic integrity is currently a reason for concern for instructors and lecturers when a paper contains more than 30% of content generated by artificial intelligence. Though the solution is less obvious, it is clear that the education sector faces many challenges as a result of the widespread use of artificial intelligence.

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