ChatGPT has given students a way to cheat on their assignments, but schools are now fighting back — and with some unconventional approaches.
Schools are now supposedly asking students to submit their homework via Google Docs to prevent cheating through ChatGPT. “Was talking to my cousin in high school about ChatGPT,” wrote Twitter user Tara Vishwanathan. “Apparently they now must submit homework via Google Docs so the teacher can view the history to see if they really wrote it or not,” she said.
Google Docs allows a document’s owners to see its history, so teachers would be able to tell if the document was created instantly after simpl copy-pasting the answer from ChatGPT, or written over a period of time by the student himself. It’s a pretty clever idea — using Google Docs’ history is a free solution, and wouldn’t cause too much friction to students either, and can perhaps reduce the incidence of cheating on student assignments.
But it’s not as though the solution is going to be foolproof. Students could cleverly copy parts of ChatGPT’s answer and then paste it into Google Docs over a period of time, and beat this system. It’s also possible that more sophisticated tools could be developed, which could mimic a normal writing process while typing out answers on Google Docs.
And this isn’t a problem that’s limited to schools. Several startups have sprung up in recent times that use cutting-edge technology to help detect if text was written by AI, but their results have been mixed. Several top tech companies including Google and Microsoft have also told governments that they will “watermark” content created by AI, but experts suggest that such techniques might also be broken by even more cutting-edge tools. Amidst all this, schools seem to be using a relatively easy technique of detecting cheating through ChatGPT by insisting students write their assignments in Google Docs. It’s still early days in plagiarism detection, but it appears that the methods that are able to catch modern AI don’t necessarily need to be as high-tech — a simple Google Docs feature can sometimes work quite well.