Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Academic integrity and AI

 Just attended the ASCILITE seminar "A positive approach to academic integrity and the potential future of artificial intelligence", with Ishpal Sandhu & Patrick Lynch,from RMIT University. They discussed the potential and pitfalls of AI with issues such as student plagiarism. One of the audience asked how they could see the tools used, without signing up to a contract cheating site. So I did a quick search and found an interface to an AI system. I asked it a few questions, and got answers which seem very plausible, at a casual glance:

Q: How can we stop students cheating?

A: There is no one answer to this question as the reasons why students cheat vary. Some possible solutions include increasing the consequences for cheating, providing more opportunities for academic help, and increasing the difficulty of assignments.

A very plausible answer, although the first sentence could apply to anything. As one person at the seminar commented, it is the sort of answer a politician gives: vague on details.

Q. How successful was Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

A: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the success of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic depends on a variety of factors, including the type of online learning platform used, the quality of the online learning content, the students' prior experience with online learning, and the students' level of motivation. However, overall, online learning appears to have been successful for many students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The start of this answer seems to use the same formula as thew previous one, to say there are many factors. It has that same vague quality to the balance of the answer.

Q: Who is Tom Worthington?

A; Tom Worthington is an Australian information technology academic, consultant and commentator. He is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and a Visiting Fellow in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University.

A bit out of date: I am now an Honorary Senior Lecturer, and the School is now just "Computing".

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