ChatGPT at university: What’s allowed and not allowed to use AI during your studies – WELT


wThanks for your efforts artificial intelligence Writing university assignments with artificial intelligence sounds tempting. But it’s not that easy. “Only a natural person can be the author of a work,” explains Malte Persike, Scientific Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Services (CLS) at RWTH Aachen University.

Reinhard Karger of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Saarbrücken sees it similarly. “A student’s research project is a separate achievement that puts scientific work into practice,” he says. The score should enable lecturers to assess the level of scientific knowledge achieved by the students.

These coursework must be completed in person. Quotations must be specified and an indication of the sources used and tools used. It is entirely conceivable that students would use AI as an aid.

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The problem: “Some universities in Germany already have rules for AI-written texts, and some don’t,” explains Persik. Where such rules exist, they sometimes leave room for interpretation.

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In a legal opinion from the NSW Department of Culture and Science, experts called for clear guidelines. Universities must clearly define the terms under which students can use AI software.

As long as these clear rules do not exist, students using AI in their homework are in a gray area. And this is not without risks.

ChatGPT risk at the university

On the one hand, there is an intellectual danger to oneself, says Karger: “Because the phrases used in a term paper are often only really understood when you write them yourself, too.”

On the other hand, the students who secretly run artificial intelligence programs such as chat Use, of course there is a risk of exposure. The result: “Because of the attempted deception, the work will be considered invalid, after which it will have to be repeated,” Persecci explains.

However, the risk of detection is currently low, according to Karger. Depending on the effort involved in describing the task, the AI-generated text can be customized so that the program cannot determine whether the AI ​​program has written a term paper or not. But it shouldn’t stay that way.

“The work on ensuring authenticity of authorship is in full swing, and progress can be expected,” Karger explains. If students who used AI were exposed secretly, they might have to account for a warning or even cancel their enrollment.

Artificial intelligence can support you in your studies

Even if the home business author should always be a natural person: There are certainly reasonable uses of AI in your study.

“When man and machine work together, it can definitely lead to something good,” says Persik. For example, when students with imperfect language skills use an artificial intelligence program to detect and correct potential errors.

In general, AI can support students in the technical breakthrough of a subject and thus enhance scientific development. “In any form of so-called machine-generated performance, however, students need a sufficient degree of skepticism and judgment,” Karger asserts. After all, one cannot currently count on the artistic accuracy and realism of machine-generated texts.

The use of artificial intelligence must be advertised

“AI can also help, for example, to structure a piece of work or craft a more concise search term,” says Persik. It is also conceivable: using artificial intelligence to solve writer’s block or to overcome blank sheet syndrome. Students formulate the task automatically and in their own words.

“The machine-generated result only serves as a source of inspiration,” says Karger. Students write the final text themselves.

It is completely harmless to use artificial intelligence to find or summarize relevant studies and articles that can help you in your homework. It is often sufficient to enter a specific topic or keyword into the program in question – and the students are already provided with the resources.

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“It is important to view AI tools as tools, not adversaries,” says Persik. But it does not work without clear guidance from universities. If AI is permitted, students must state clearly under the term paper if they have used it and what tools they have used.

What else is imaginable from Karger’s point of view: “In the long run, generative AI can achieve a state similar to that of a pocket calculator, the use of which in course provision is perfectly acceptable.”

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