Will an artificial intelligence one day be able to write a student research paper for him?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gradually invaded all aspects of society, including the field of content creation. Currently, several AI-based programs are already capable of writing full text instead of humans. This is called “artificial intelligence-assisted writing”. In short, these technologies are based on large sets of existing texts to make money and create new ones. In some cases, people have to go far behind, in others their intervention is very limited (but still necessary for the moment).

“Some AIs write more naturally than others, depending on the data at their disposal and the technology used,” explained Axel Legge, a professor of computer science at Eculevin. GPT-3 technology, manufactured by Elon Musk, is one of the most efficient on the market. For example, it is able to create consistent text pages and pages based on the beginning of a sentence.

Last month, Mike Sharpels, an emeritus professor at the Open University (England) Institute of Educational Technology, was surprised on Twitter that he was able to complete a preliminary question by creating a text embellished with this AI reference bibliography.

Some of the references used were false, but reasonable enough to warn potential proofreaders. Even if the technology still suffers from some errors, it was enough for the professor to make sure that “any student can now create a complete original essay or assignment in seconds”.

Can you really write a complete memoir in a few seconds?

For Hughes Barsini, director of ULB’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, this is a must. Distinguish between two parts of a research paper : Theoretical part and practical part. “For the theoretical part, an AI would have no problem writing whole pages using pre-existing scientific texts. That’s exactly what students do when you think about it, when they consult existing works.” On the other hand, according to him, using AI for the practical part would be much more complicated. “In this part, we will ask the student for a real job. Since AI is built on things that already exist to work, it seems really complicated to me to be real. Will an artificial intelligence be able to bluff? I doubt it, “he said.

However, in the past, an AI has already been able to create a Beatles song from scratch based on their entire collection. “If we didn’t know that artificial intelligence technology exists, we would be fools,” the professor acknowledged. “But, we know that it exists, it immediately surprises us a lot less. In order to offer something truly real, you have to use your knowledge of the social world, your environment, taking into account the professor’s expectations when moving away. A little surprise. However, let’s not forget that an AI lacks relational power or emotional intelligence. “

Axel Legay, a professor of computer science at UCLouvain, believes that It depends on the type of memory. “If there is a lot of text in the thesis, AI can do something good already. Human beings usually have more text, so AI can be really very effective. In hard science, it can help students formally transform a complex problem. Instead of asking a professor for help. , He can call an AI to give him a hand “, explained the expert.

How are universities adapting to artificial intelligence?

“It’s a real challenge to make sure students do their theoretical part themselves,” acknowledges Hugus Barsini. “Students already know that AI can be useful for them,” Axel Legge confirmed Universities are being forced to adapt, and they are already doing so!

Currently, Anti-plagiarism software is more advanced. The main problem they face is, as we have said, that AI creates a new text and does not copy existing sentences elsewhere, thus complicating the detection of theft. However, this problem has existed since dawn. “When a student draws inspiration from other research to create his own, modifies them and adopts ideas, it is already a form of plagiarism,” notes Axel Legge. To counteract this, anti-plagiarism software calls for … artificial intelligence! “It’s a bit like a virus and antivirus,” concludes Higgins Bersini. “If a machine is capable of creating something, it is also able to detect the creative process behind it. We are currently in a hurry between the two.”

In addition to anti-plagiarism software, professors have a role to play in revising dissertations. If he insists that the theoretical part is important, Hughes Barsini thus acknowledges the grant. Particular attention to the practical part When conducting a research assessment. “Because it’s the most real part of the student’s work,” he explains. And, by definition, AI is the least likely to be affected.

For the axle leg, Teachers were not born from the last rain. “We know our students,” he explains. “If the style of the essay differs from theirs, we will quickly realize it. We will also notice it during the oral presentation. For me, students should not be too optimistic that they can do nothing for their memory.”

Can AI be allowed in memory?

Whether we like it or not, artificial intelligence is here and we have to take it into consideration. For Axel Legay, it’s not a bad thing. “If it helps the student to do his research work, as a professor, I personally don’t see any problem with it,” he said. “You just have to put the cursor in the right place. For me, it can help him write his thesis, but it can’t do everything for him. The goal of a TFE is that the student gets something out of it in his future career. Artificial intelligence will do more.” “We can either get angry and be annoyed that the student uses it, or associate it and signal its arrival in hard science in a mild way.”

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