A professor at Texas A&M-Commerce failed more than half of his class after ChatGPT wrongly flagged papers. In a report by Rolling Stone, ChatGPT falsely flagged papers, resulting in diplomas being withheld.
So how did this happen? Well according to the report, Dr. Jared Mumm, the professor in question, sent an email to the class in which he informed them that he had submitted three of their last essay assignments into OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The point was to test if they had used AI-generated content to get their work done.
Dr. Mumm, who is a professor of agricultural science and natural resources, wrote in the email “I copy and paste your responses in this account and Chat GTP will tell me if the program generated the content.” He added, “I put everyone’s last three assignments through two separate times and if they were both claimed by Chat GTP you received a 0.”
Because of this, many of the seniors who had already graduated, had their official diplomas placed on hold. Following this, the professor then offered the class an opportunity to redo the assignment. But there’s a problem. As many ChatGPT users may know, the chatbot isn’t designed to identify AI-created content.
Though OpenAI has talked about creating an AI detecting program, it’s yet to be available widely. But the story doesn’t end there. A Reddit user who goes by DearKick wrote about how many of the students fought being labeled as cheaters, even going so far as to provide timestamped Google Docs to prove that they didn’t use ChatGPT.
According to the post, Dr. Mumm wasn’t buying it. So did the professor go too far? Well, the story is a bit more complicated. That’s because, even though one student was able to be forgiven and the professor apologized, two other studies admitted to using ChatGPT earlier in the year.
In a statement to Insider, Texas A&M-Commerce said “University officials are investigating the incident and developing policies to address the use or misuse of AI technology in the classroom…A&M-Commerce confirms that no students failed the class or were barred from graduating because of this issue. Dr. Jared Mumm, the class professor, is working individually with students regarding their last written assignments.”
AI has been revolutionary in many fields and has been shown to help students pick up complicated subject matter. But since the release of ChatGPT in late 2022, many within education have stressed their concerns related to the power of LLMs.