Top 3 Misconceptions about ChatGPT

Ian Hartley


May 07, 2023

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Since its release late last year, ChatGPT has garnered attention and sparked numerous discussions about the role of AI in education. However, amidst the excitement, several misconceptions have emerged. This blog post aims to explore and debunk the common misconceptions about using ChatGPT in education, and shed light on its capabilities, limitations, and the realities of using this application.

Misconception #1 – It’s OK! Our [, GPTZero, etc] Platform Detects AI Now!

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. While EdTech giant Turnitin and upstart GPTZero have created online platforms which claim to be able to detect the use of AI tools with up to 98% accuracy, the reality of these platforms capabilities is far from 98% accurate, even when working with data directly produced by an AI tool with zero editing. In the real world, most students are editing their content before they submit it, and are, themselves, using GPTZero to check their content to see if its flagged as being written by AI. In context of all of this, these tools become more of a hindrance than a benefit. One serious concern is false positives, where a tool like Turnitin says a paper is likely to have been written by AI, but it has been authentically written by the student. This happens often, and is prevalent enough that educators cannot rely on the determinations that these tools are making. If these tools cannot be relied upon, why are they being used? Educators must adapt to the reality that the ‘detection’ model is not a viable solution for mitigating AI plagiarism, and that different approaches, such as Authoriginal’s ‘Prevention’ approach must be used.

Misconception #2 – ChatGPT Can’t Write a Good Essay – I’ll Be Able to Tell!

Yes, ChatGPT can write an essay. You might not think it’s the best paper, but after 15 minutes of editing, you would never know it wasn’t written by a human. All of the themes, concepts, transitions and even the thesis would have been created by AI, but with just a little bit of stylistic editing, you would never be able to tell the difference. The reality is that if you’re an English professor, you’ve likely already read several essays that have been written in whole or in part by ChatGPT. What’s more, ChatGPT is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to AI plagiarism tools, with specialized tools like Jasper AI that can write with much stronger tone and be significantly harder to detect.

Misconception #3 – We Need to Get Rid of Essay Writing Altogether!

It is now surprisingly common to hear educators suggesting that the existence of ChatGPT and AI writing tools means that English and Humanities assignments are no longer a valid assessment modality.In reality, assessments via paper writing are a core and valuable part of pedagogy from the earliest to latest stages of a student’s education.To draw a parallel, the existence of Calculators or online tools like Wolfram Alpha doesn’t mean that mathematics examinations should be discontinued. Instead, just like calculators or Wolfram Alpha on mathematics examinations, schools must find ways to prevent the use of AI when writing assignments. Today’s tools like Turnitin and GPTZero try to detect whether AI was used after the essay has already been written – that’s like trying to find out if a student used a calculator after they finished a math exam! Instead, tools like Authoriginal can completely prevent the use of ChatGPT and all other forms of plagiarism while the student is writing their assignment.

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