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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Is Having AI Generate Text Cheating?

 Does AI give unfair advantage?   It will come into general use  

Is Having AI Generate Text Cheating?   By Carlos Baquero

Communications of the ACM, December 2022, Vol. 65 No. 12, Pages 6-7    10.1145/3565976

Professor Carlos Baquero of Porto University

https://bit.ly/3ElW1J7   August 3, 2022

Humans were always fragile creatures, most of our success in the ecosystem was driven by the efficient use of new tools. When a new tool arrives that augments our capabilities, we often question the fairness of using it. The debate usually does not last long when the tool has clear benefits. Boats have an advantage over swimming, writing solves our memory problems, this paragraph was improved using a grammar checker, and so forth.

Text generated by AI tools, such as GPT-3 (https://bit.ly/3e3icZQ), has seen an impressive increase in quality, and the AI-generated text is now hard to distinguish from human-generated text. Some people argue that using AI-generated text is cheating, as it gives the user an unfair advantage. However, others argue that AI-generated text is simply another tool that can be used to improve writing. The text in italic type drives this point home, as it was fully AI-generated after giving GPT-3 the appropriate context with the preceding text (going forward in this article, all the AI-generated text is marked in italic). To make the process more confusing, the AI-generated text can be further improved with tools that improve the grammatical presentation and choice of terms. At some point, it becomes hard to distinguish who wrote what.

Blended Writing and Provenance

We can place the question of whether blended writing with AIs will become an acceptable approach to a more efficient use of our capabilities and time. Tools for spelling and grammatical correction are now in everyday use and do not raise any ethical concerns. Nevertheless, AI-generated text, even if accepted from an ethical standpoint, raises questions on the provenance of the generated text. Luckily, there is already an abundance of tools for plagiarism detection (for the purpose of this article, all the AI-generated text has been checked for plagiarism using Quetext (https://bit.ly/3rrCy1U)). In the case of GPT-3, a closed-book system with no access to external content after the pre-training phase, the generation of "ipsis verbis" text seems statistically unlikely for any long output, so the plagiarism check is likely an abundance of care.

OpenAI, owner of GPT-3, does provide guidelines (https://bit.ly/3fvsnXd) for content co-authored with GPT-3. The gist is: Do no harm, refrain from using harmful content; clearly identify the use of AI-generated content; attribute it to your name, you are responsible for the published content. ... 

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