ChatGPT can generate essays or even dissertations for students. Find out how to use it to write for you, but also how teachers can detect this new cheating method…
On November 30, 2022, OpenAI unveiled ChatGPT: a chatbot or conversational agent equipped with the latest-generation artificial intelligence, capable of answering any question and generating any type of text on demand.
In just one week, this AI had already attracted several million users worldwide. And with good reason: its performance is impressive, and proves invaluable in many applications.
In particular, it can be used to generate classified ads, marketing campaigns, job offers, blog articles, video descriptions or even computer code and sheet music. We even used it to write an article on nuclear fusion!
Students from all over the world quickly realized that this AI could work for them. In this dossier, find out how you can use ChatGPT to generate your dissertations…
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT represents a chatbot, a conversational agent, a robot “interacting in a conversational manner. What makes it special? It is based on the GPT-3 artificial intelligence model of the OpenAI company founded in 2015 in San Francisco by Sam Altman and Elon Musk.
Thanks to its huge database drawn from the Internet, ChatGPT is able to generate new texts from commands entered by the user: prompts”. For more information on ChatGPT, you can read our full report at this address.
In its own words, “ChatGPT is a variant of the GPT-3 language model specifically configured for conversational language. This means that it has been trained on a large dataset of conversational text and can generate responses more appropriate for use in a discussion or conversation”.
Other GPT-3 variants include, of course quote DALL-E capable of generating images from prompts. Launched in the summer of 2022, this project also created a buzz on the Internet and shook up the art world.
This AI gives ChatGPT capabilities that go far beyond any existing chatbot. For example, this chatbot can answer multi-part questions, admit mistakes, challenge incorrect assumptions and reject inappropriate requests.
It can write articles, create spreadsheets, correct computer code and much more. However, one of its main use cases could well be become the writing of essays and dissertations. Many lazy students have already realized how much this tool can make their lives easier…
How to generate an essay or dissertation?
Still in the research phase, ChatGPT was deployed on the Internet to enable OpenAI to gather feedback and identify its weak points. The tool is freely accessible via the InternetFree Research Preview” version.
Anyone can use and test it as they wish. OpenAI’s aim is to find out how Internet users use it, and to enable AI to improve thanks to the information it receives.
To start generating an essay or dissertation, all you have to do is register on the ChatGPT website. You will need to enter an email address and a telephone number.
Log in, and ask the robot to write for you. For example, you could ask it to write write an essay on France’s role in the First World War “.
In just a few seconds, the AI writes a complete essay on the subject of your choice. You can then ask him to perfect the text with instructions such as ” shorter “, ” longer “, “ simpler ” or ” adopts a more scientific tone “. Feel free to experiment with different instructions!
How to generate an outline with titles
You can also ask ChatGPT to generate a map with titles and subtitles for your essay. You can then generate a text for each part of the plan. You can specify the number of words for each paragraph, but please note that the limit is now 650 words for each text produced by the AI.
For get around this word limityou can use the ” expands the following elements into paragraphs of 100 words each “. Then copy and paste a list of five elements of the essay outline. Repeat this command until you have generated paragraphs for all the elements of the original plan.
Another approach is to asking specific questions related to the topic to obtain more information. You can then copy the answers into another document to form the essay.
Here’s the steps to follow to generate an essay using ChatGPT :
- Go to
- Create an OpenAI account or connect to an existing account.
- Enter a prompt in the text box at the bottom of the screen, e.g. “Write an essay on the causes of global warming”.
- Wait a few seconds while ChatGPT generates the text.
How do I fix ChatGPT’s network problems?
As explained above, ChatGPT is still in the testing phase. As a result, users may be confronted with bugs or technical problems.
When generating a response to a prompt, the AI sometimes announces a ” network error “. In particular, this can occur when the user interrupts ChatGPT while it is generating its response, or in the event of high website traffic.
Indeed, in view of the interest aroused by ChatGPT, the OpenAI servers are saturated at peak times. The only way to solve the problem is to refresh the page, or click on “New Thread” at the top left of the screen. If the error message persists, the only solution is to come back later.
Can ChatGPT really write a brief for you?
ChatGPT’s impressive performance, some teachers fear that it will become impossible to prevent students from cheating. According to Professor Stephen Marche, this AI could even spell the end of essays as we know them. The world of education could be forced to reinvent itself.
Um… I just had like a 20 minute conversation with ChatGPT about the history of modern physics. If I had this shit as a tutor during high school and college…. OMG.
I think we can basically re-invent the concept of education at scale. College as we know it will cease to exist.
– Peter Wang (@pwang) December 4, 2022
However, others doubt whether this tool really allows students to cheat. English professor Stuart Selber of the University of Pennsylvania believes that “itvery year, there’s something that’s going to wipe out higher education as we know it. So far, it hasn’t happened.
So he says he’s no more worried about ChatGPT than he is about previous literary technologies. According to him, twenty years earlier, software such as Word or sites like Wikipedia and even the Internet in general have given rise to the same anxieties.
The limits of AI
And even if the writing of ChatGPT seems “ pretty good in the abstract “This professor is convinced that AI struggles to write about specific problems or local issues, to generate an original argument, or to interrogate arguments rather than simply quoting them. And yet, in its eyes, these are essential aspects of essay writing.
Today I asked ChatGPT about the topic I wrote my PhD about. It produced reasonably sounding explanations and reasonably looking citations. So far so good – until I fact-checked the citations. And things got spooky when I asked about a physical phenomenon that doesn’t exist.
– Teresa Kubacka (@paniterka_ch) December 5, 2022
Like Selber, Professor Jacqueline Antonovch of Muhlenberg College doubts that ChatGPT will enable cheaters to get good grades. After testing the AI on essay topics given to her students, she believes that the text produced would have received the worst possible grade.
– Jacqueline Antonovich (@jackiantonovich) December 5, 2022
Nevertheless, without going so far as to replace the editorial staff, ChatGPT could help students refine their work. In particular, it can be used to summarize existing studies on a subject.
Similarly, Professor Leah Henrickson believes that AI could make education fairer. It has the potential to help students for whom English is not their main language, or who are not used to adopting an academic writing style.
In her opinion, ChatGPT is simply the logical continuation of tools widely used by students such as Grammarly: software capable of analyzing and improving written sentences. Aware that students know these tools exist, she believes that her role is to help them make good use of them.
How can teachers detect cheating?
At present, there are no technology to detect whether an essay is written by an AI. Even anti-cheating experts are shocked by ChatGPT’s performance.
Eric Wang, Vice President of Artificial Intelligence at Turnitin: a plagiarism detection service This service, launched in 1999, is used by some 16,000 school systems worldwide to detect plagiarism in student work.
The software scours the web to check whether a student has copied any content. Its algorithms can identify problems such as an excess of citations, or even detect when a student has hired a freelancer to do their homework for them.
However, ChatGPT represents a quantum leap in this field. For the time being, its responses remain easily identifiable due to factual errors and overly linear sentences.
We’re witnessing the death of the college essay in realtime. Here’s the response to a prompt from one of my 200-level history classes at Amherst
Solid A- work in 10 seconds pic.twitter.com/z1KPxiAc1O
– Corry Wang (@corry_wang) December 1, 2022
However, Wang points out that AI is evolving at a breakneck pace. For example, the the next iteration of the OpenAI language model, GPT-4will be deployed in 2023 and will represent another giant step forward. Within two years, the current version of ChatGPT may well seem primitive…
OpenAI admits its responsibility, and plans to conceal cryptographic signals as watermarks in texts produced by ChatGPT. This would greatly facilitate their identification by specialized software such as Turnitin.
The take home essay test is dead.
I just fed a law school essay prompt into ChatGPT. It posed a simple constitutional law problem and asked for the essay to apply the 3-part test from a 1971 Supreme Court case. ChatGPT responded *instantly* with a solid response.
Mind blown. pic.twitter.com/cnc05fvgcT
– 〽️atthew S. Schwartz (@SchwartzReports) December 7, 2022
Getting to know their students
Until software capable of detecting ChatGPT sees the light of day, the only solution for teachers is to get to know their students and the way they write. This will enable them to detect anomalies in their work.
Another option is to return to pen-and-ink assignments. Professor Kevin Bryan of the University of Toronto believes that it is no longer possible to give homework or exams.
According to Andrew Piper, Professor of Literature at McGill University, academic institutions will have no choice but to integrate new technologies like ChatGPT into their curricula. This is exactly what happened with the invention of the calculator.
Look, if everyone is worried about students cheating on essays for AI, instructors can just cheat right back.
I asked OpenAI to give me an essay question & make a rubric for grading. I had GPT-3 actually write the essay.
I then had the OpenAI grade the essay & give comments. ✅ pic.twitter.com/2mubBvFpmI
– Ethan Mollick (@emollick) December 2, 2022
ChatGPT detection tools and solutions for schools
Faced with the risk of cheating induced by ChatGPT, OpenAI launched in February 2023 a tool to detect the use of AI. Called AI Text Classifier, this tool is available at this address.. However, this solution only offers a 26% success rate…
Originality.AI is the most versatile and reliable of all chatGPT’s writing detection tools. This tool is ideal for anyone wishing to have their written content checked. It offers professional features such as full site analysis and team management capabilities. Team management functions allow you to manage several sites at once. In addition, you can add more users to the plan.
In addition, Content At Scale is another AI content detection tool. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to detect content generated by GPT-3. This free software can detect AI-generated content up to 2,500 characters (on average 500 words).
This free tool can also check for duplicate words, phrases and sentences to help you create unique plagiarism-free content. It also runs semantic analysis algorithms to check AI-written texts and distinguish them from human-written content.
Not forgetting, GPTZerois the most powerful software. It can detect content written by chatGPT, which ensures that the text has indeed been written by a human. However, it is not totally reliable and is even less effective in the case of French text.
ChatGPT-generated essays flood social networks
From many students share their dissertations and essays generated by ChatGPT on networks such as Twitter and TikTok. Older students, for their part, regret that this tool did not exist in their youth…
@thevazzy ChatGPT writes my essay for me #chatgpt #foryoupage #fyp #grammarly ♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依
One user explains, for example, that ChatGPT wrote a 20-paragraph essay for himAnother enjoys a two-minute conversation with the chatbot on the history of modern physics. Another looks forward to a 20-minute conversation with the chatbot on the history of modern physics.
For some, this tool simply has the potential to reinvent the concept of education. In their view, the university as we know it is doomed to disappear.
However, this AI simply allows students to cheat. In the eyes of the teachers, ChatGPT therefore poses a serious moral problem…