In a recent incident at Texas A&M University, a professor’s attempt to detect plagiarism using ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence language model developed by OpenAI, has sparked controversy and put the diplomas of several graduating seniors on hold. Rolling Stone reported on Tuesday that Dr. Jared Mumm, who teaches agricultural sciences and natural resources, failed more than half of his class after ChatGPT falsely claimed to have generated their papers.
According to the report, Dr. Mumm emailed his senior class, informing them that he had submitted three of their recent essay assignments to ChatGPT to test for any instances of software usage. However, it should be noted that ChatGPT is not designed to identify content created by artificial intelligence, including its own. In his email, Dr. Mumm misspelled ChatGPT as “Chat GTP” and explained that he would copy and paste their responses into the system to determine if the program had generated the content. If the system claimed authorship for both submissions, the student received a failing grade of 0.
Consequently, most of the affected seniors, who had already graduated, had their official diplomas put on hold by the university. To rectify the situation, Dr. Mumm offered the class the opportunity to redo the assignments to avoid failing grades. However, some students contacted the professor, providing timestamped Google Docs as evidence that they had not used ChatGPT, but their emails were allegedly ignored.
Reddit User Sparks Controversy as Texas A&M Launches Investigation into ChatGPT Incident
The incident came to light when a Reddit user named DearKick shared the professor’s email on the platform. In a subsequent post, DearKick revealed that some students had presented their evidence to Dr. Mumm, but the professor responded dismissively through the grading software, stating, “I don’t grade AI bullshit.” However, it was also mentioned that one student had been exonerated and received an apology from Dr. Mumm. Additionally, two other students had admitted to using ChatGPT earlier in the semester, which further complicated the situation for those who had not utilized the software.
In response to the controversy, Texas A&M University confirmed that an investigation was underway and clarified that no students had failed the class or been prohibited from graduating due to the incident. The university stated that the professor was cooperating with the students to determine the extent of AI usage in their assignments. Until the investigations are completed, the affected students’ diplomas will remain on hold.
Controversy Erupts at Texas A&M University as Professor Alleges AI-Generated Papers Among Graduating Seniors
The use of AI technology in education has become a subject of debate, as incidents like this highlight the challenges associated with detecting AI-generated content. While some schools in Texas have banned ChatGPT, others are exploring ways to incorporate AI chatbots and similar tools into their educational practices. This incident at Texas A&M University serves as a reminder of the complexities surrounding the intersection of AI and academia, emphasizing the need for clear policies and guidelines to navigate such situations fairly and transparently.
In conclusion, the actions taken by Dr. Mumm to detect plagiarism using ChatGPT have led to a contentious situation at Texas A&M University, resulting in the withholding of diplomas for several graduating seniors. The incident has prompted an investigation by the university and raised broader questions about the role of AI in educational settings, emphasizing the importance of careful consideration and responsible implementation of such technologies.
According to a report by Rolling Stone, a professor at Texas A&M University took action after suspecting that some of his students had used the ChatGPT bot to write their papers. In an email sent to his senior class, Dr. Jared Mumm revealed that he had submitted three essay assignments to the AI bot to verify the authenticity of their work. As a result, more than half of the students failed the class, leading the university to withhold their diplomas.