Alleged use of AI to complete student’s final essay sparks debate at University of the Philippines

The fiery online debate about using artificial intelligence (AI) programs such as ChatGPT being used for schoolwork has finally arrived in the Philippines following allegations that some students at the University of the Philippines (UP) used AI to complete their final requirements.

UP Diliman AI program faculty members condemned students’ alleged use of AI programs to fulfill course requirements, such as writing essays, after a professor posted his suspicions online that a student’s “incoherent” essay may have been the work of AI.

History assistant professor Francisco Guiang shared that his student’s essay did not answer the final exam questions and the entire composition did not make sense. “There was no composition, he just dropped proper nouns (with no relation to the essay question) in sentences,” he wrote.

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Guiang also said that he ran the essay through two AI detector systems, and “both garnered results that the samples were most likely written by AI. This is academic dishonesty,” he said.

Guiang’s faculty group also came out with a statement saying: “The faculty of UPD AI program condemns the outputs of these systems to misrepresent as valid scholarly works. Manuscripts, graphic designs, videos, computer programs, and other academic requirements must be solely created by the student or group of students as required by the instructor of the course,”

However, they also cautioned against implementing a ban on AI tools in the university and encouraged revisiting how AI tools could enhance and facilitate student learning. “It would be frivolous to ban AI tools in our University computer networks. It is recommended that we utilize this technology in our academic life to further improve our learning productivity.”

While teachers may be alarmed over the prospect of AI programs being used to cheat, some students also expressed concerns that AI detection systems could be “weaponized” by faculty to accuse original works of academic dishonesty.

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