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Lad successfully passes 2,000-word university essay by using a robot

Lad successfully passes 2,000-word university essay by using a robot

Pieter went back to school to see if he could make the grade

Mankind has come a long way in the past decade or so.

At one time, you'd would have to lift huge swathes of text from books in order to get a good grade.

While it was technically cheating, there was at least a certain amount of effort involved with it.

Kids these days, though, don't even need to demonstrate that level of industry, they can just get a robot to do it instead.

Pieter wanted to see whether he could pass a piece of uni coursework using a robot.

Pieter Snepvangers left uni last year, and after seeing what wonders AI could work, he decided to find out whether it could be used for coursework.

So he asked a lecturer at a Russell Group uni if he could take the final year assessment.

But rather than pulling all nighters in the library like the rest of the year, he tasked the open source ChatGPT software with writing a 2,000 essay on social policy. Which it subsequently did in 20 minutes.

Sadly, however, this isn't even the most depressing thing about this tale.

Not only did the bot manage to put together a coherent argument, it bagged itself a Desmond, or, more officially, a 2:2.

The 22-year-old, who wrote about his experience for The Tab, said: "I found a fairly prestigious Russell Group university and asked one of its lecturers if I could take his final year social policy assessment to see if ChatGPT could really work.

"I wanted to know what mark I could get and whether or not he’d spot the essay was written by a bot.

"Under the premise of being a third year social policy student completing a 2,000 word essay I got to work."

It wasn't all plain sailing, though.

Because it was only spewing out a fraction of the word count needed, he had to ask the software 10 separate questions relation to the essay topic.

After a bit of light editing, he was ready to hand it in.

The 22-year-old convinced a uni lecturer to let him try and pass the essay.

"All in all, 20 minutes to produce an essay which is supposed to demonstrate 12 weeks of learning," Pieter said. "Not bad. I nervously sent it off to my lecturer and awaited the verdict."

While the lecturer admitted they couldn't be certain that a bot was responsible for the piece, they said it smelled a little 'fishy'.

"Basically this essay isn’t referenced," the feedback read. "It is very general. It doesn’t go into detail about anything. It’s not very theoretical or conceptually advanced.

"This could be a student who has attended classes and has engaged with the topic of the unit. The content of the essay, this could be somebody that’s been in my classes. It wasn’t the most terrible in terms of content."

Have you met my mate, Desmond?

It added: “You definitely can’t cheat your way to a first class degree, but you can cheat your way to a 2:2."

Ironically, the only aspect in which the essay was a complete an utter failure was referencing.

Which is about as realistic as it comes to the average student then.

More worryingly, though, the lecturer said that around 12 percent of the essays they've marked so far appear to be written by AI software of some description.

"ChatGPT is only three months old," said Pieter. "You wouldn’t bet against it being able to write an essay worthy of a 2:1 in another three months."

If only you could go back in time, eh?

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: UK News