AI's Impact on Shaping Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty
01 Sep 2023
Everybody knows that there is a fine line not only between love and hate. The same can be said about using AI for inspiration and plagiarizing. Distributing tasks among the students, the professor has always expected each of them to turn in their own work. It used to be a great challenge for all schools to ensure compliance with the standards of academic integrity as the students were tempted to borrow ideas from other sources, their peers’ papers, and huge online resources. The issue remains, but it has become less burning, being gradually replaced with the other one. That is a new type of cheating that has slipped into education and transformed understanding of plagiarism forever and ever. It is a must of nowadays to make all students realize that no matter which kind of AI software they are using, the papers they get from a machine are never original!
Who Is to Blame?
Does AI plagiarize? Actually, from a technical point of view, it is wrong to treat AI-generated content as plagiarism. There is no word-for-word copying of what other authors think on the topic in question. No other author suffers because of the infringement of intellectual property rights. It seems there is no stealing at all as the content is generated from scratch! Perfect, hah? You neither copy-paste the ideas nor paraphrase them. You actually save lots of your time as you do not do any research at all. You can stop worrying about mistakes in formatting, punctuation, or grammar. Hold on! Plagiarism is actually presenting not your own ideas as your own. That is the case with AI writing, isn’t it?
So, who is the plagiarizer? Is that an AI or its user? With ThePlagiarism.com, a professor will get to know whether the students have paraphrased the ideas or provided duplicate content as their own. As a result, they will get punished and their papers will be graded poorly. What about papers written by an AI smart tool? Running them through traditional plagiarism detectors will not be effective as the tool creators have taken good care of the mechanism of composing texts. Still, sophisticated modern plagiarism detection software can easily track your use of AI helpers and you will be the one responsible for plagiarism, not the AI software!
Getting Inspired vs. Committing a Crime
Do a short survey just to get closer to the topic of crossing into the area of plagiarism territory with AI tools.
- Can you recreate the wheel? For sure, you cannot.
- Can you produce original thoughts in the contemporary world where you are all the time surrounded by the ideas of others and have unlimited access to them? Actually, you can.
- Do you use the works of others as role models or prompts while writing? You always do.
- It is an axiom that your abilities and knowledge cannot be the same as those of a computer.
So, can using an AI tool be equal to using the previous research works of the authors on the same topic when you have to complete a certain assignment? Well, it depends.
It is not that simple to answer the question about distinguishing between inspiration and plagiarism even in traditional writing. In reality, it is much more challenging to draw the line between cheating and getting help while using the AI technologies.
Leveraging AI Tools for Ethical Use of Machine Help in Writing
The threat to academic integrity now is huge and one of the measures taken in schools is banning AI tools once and for all. Still, everybody understands that they will be used without the professors knowing about it. It is time to face the reality that it is impossible to stop the progress and look for integrating the tools in all spheres in an ethically acceptable manner.
What the professors can do is to say to their students, “Be mindful! There is high risk of plagiarism if you use AI, so try to avoid them!” Getting exposed to the following strategies of making the use of AI tools safe, the students may even enhance their writing instead of mere plagiarizing.
- Get an insight into the fundamentals of plagiarism.
Better understanding of what can be wrong with writing can save you from making a crime in academics.
- View AI tools as writing aids, not more
If your goal is to enhance your writing and collect more ideas at the stage of brainstorming, ChatGPT or any other tool can be of great help for you. Do not forget that you should still preserve your own voice in writing.
- Cite properly
Attribution of the cited sources is a must and even if an AI tool fails in that, you should take proper care of referencing.
- Verify all the facts
Only with human control over the reliability of the information provided by AI tools and cross-checking of the statistics, facts, and claims, your writing can be accurate.
- Get better at researching
Reduce the risks by collecting information from your research from different sources, not only the AI-generated answers to your questions.
- Never submit any papers without editing
Only a thoughtful review of the content can help you avoid plagiarism in your writing, even if you do it with the help of the AI technologies.
- Check for plagiarism
Never take chances with the writing tools. Use the best software to make sure that there will be no plagiarism in the final paper. Leverage the tools for plagiarism detection and identify all the threats, including those related to AI.
- Get human feedback on the text
Ask your peers at least to look through the final text and give you an insight into the issues you might have omitted.
No doubt, if there is no control over the use of artificial intelligence, in a few years, we will be looking for a response to the fallout. Is using AI plagiarism? Yes, it is, if this use is done without proper thinking. It is quite possible to wake up one day to see that original ideas no longer exist in the traditional interpretation of the term ‘originality’. Having all the new ideas generated by the AI will change understanding of creativity and authenticity. For the sphere of education, it will be a collapse of human knowledge as it will be replaced with the compilation of information obtained by AI tools from the web. Still, it is a pessimistic prospect of the future. Let’s believe that it is still possible to turn artificial intelligence into an efficient and obedient helper not an associate in plagiarism.