- A professor at Texas A&M University tried to fail some students, Rolling Stone reported on Tuesday.
- He said he used ChatGPT to test whether they’d used the software to write the papers.
- However, ChatGPT is not designed to detect material that it has previously composed itself.
A professor at Texas A&M failed more than half of his class after ChatGPT falsely claimed it wrote their papers, prompting the university to withhold their diplomas, Rolling Stone reported on Tuesday.
In an email sent to his class of seniors on Monday, Dr. Jared Mumm said that he had submitted three of their last essay assignments into OpenAI’s bot Chat GPT to test whether any students used the software to write their papers.
“I copy and paste your responses in this account and Chat GTP will tell me if the program generated the content,” Mumm, who teaches agricultural sciences and natural resources, wrote in the email, misspelling Chat GPT.
“I put everyone’s last three assignments through two separate times and if they were both claimed by Chat GTP you received a 0,” he added.
As a result, most of the seniors — who had already graduated — had their official diplomas put on hold by the university, Rolling Stone reported. Mumm offered the class the chance to re-do the assignment to avoid a failing grade.
However, ChatGPT was not designed to identify content created by artificial intelligence — including its own. There are several other programs, including Winston AI and Content at Scale, that are able to do this.
The professor and Texas A&M University did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The email was originally posted to Reddit by someone called DearKick.
In a follow-up post, DearKick wrote that several students wrote to Mumm to show him their timestamped Google Docs in an effort to prove that they did not use ChatGPT.
However, the professor “ignored the emails, instead only replying on their grading software in the remarks: ‘I don’t grade AI bullshit,'” DearKick wrote.
DearKick also said that one student had been exonerated and that Mumm had apologized to them. Two other students had admitted to using ChatGPT earlier in the semester, which “no doubt greatly complicates the situation for those who did not,” they added.
In a statement to PC Magazine, Texas A&M confirmed they were investigating the incident, adding: “No students failed the class or were barred from graduating as a result of this issue.”
“The professor is working with the students to determine whether AI was used to write their assignments and, if so, at what level.” However, the individual students’ diplomas will remain on hold until investigations are completed.
The use of AI technology in education has become a contested issue. While some schools in Texas have banned students from using ChatGPT, others are trying to incorporate the AI chatbot