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Plagiarism, Artificial Intelligence, & Academic Integrity

Guide to avoiding plagiarism.

Defining AI

Through machine learning, AI is a computer "program" that imitates human like interactions. By training an AI with thousands of books and articles, most AI has encyclopedic knowledge and can answer basic questions. Most AI is also trained with large data dumps of social media to help the AI with creating something akin to natural or current language. With a series of prompts most AI is capable of creating long form answers to questions and prompts. Those long form answers may be paragraphs or entire essays. The AI is more like a narrator than it is a search engine; it responds more like an author.

Because of the training of AI it is prone to certain problems.

  • All of the training was treated as equally correct. It learned facts from encyclopedias, but was also exposed to trash from social media. Most AI hold many contradictory ideas as being equally true. Donald Trump both won and lost the 2020 election.
  • It will be wrong with many answers (see above about training). It was trained on myths, misinformation, disinformation, and outright conspiracy theories.
  • It may even intentionally lie. Deception is a part of a lot of literature and the AI mimics that.
  • All of the training taught the AI certain genres and forms of literature. The AI will shape its answers/responses based on how you start a prompt. The AI have been known to be flirty because people asked it about itself (checking autonomy) which the AI recognized as flirting in social media. AI will also be mean and crude based on its training with AI. Start a prompt with brief terse words and respond in more brief interactions and the Ai will recognize a "flame war" or a fight from Twitter and Reddit. In a few sentences the AI will move from answers to all caps yelling to calling names.
  • Much of the AI training was with public domain (read that as really old) material. This leads to two distinct problems: the AI is prone to promote old, outdated, and disproven theories AND the AI will use language and terminology that is considered inappropriate now (sexist and racist comments are fairly common).

Most of these are called "hallucinations", but it is the AI relying on its training. "Garbage in. Garbage out."

Additionally, the AI is programmed to put words together based on probability of what should come next. It has learned what typically follows certain words or phrases. So, AI tends to be generic lifeless writing because it writes what is expected. It isn't creative with expressions.

HIU's Policy About AI in Academic Work   

Developing technology has made Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools more readily accessible to everyone, including students. HIU asserts that student learning requires students to fully engage readings and other source materials, thoughtfully process the content and arguments of those sources, and construct their own evidence-based conclusions. In addition, student learning requires that the student’s analysis, evaluation, and conclusions in any academic inquiry must be articulated in the student’s own words, expressing the student’s own arguments and points of support for their conclusions. Therefore, when a student employs AI to generate written text, sequenced reasoning, invented documentation, arguments, or conclusions, the product is not the student’s own work, nor is it the product of student learning. It is instead a form of plagiarism and a violation of academic integrity, subject to the consequences imposed for other violations of academic integrity published in the HIU Catalog section on Academic Integrity above. 

 - HIU, Summer of 2023

For a Glossary of Terms

For More About AI

Much of this comes from: - created by Steve Jung

On that site are links to two PowerPoints on AI.

The top PowerPoint was delivered to the faculty of HIU for the Spring faculty in-service meeting in March 2023.

The other PowerPoint was delivered as a sponsored webinar for Atla (formerly the American Theological Library Association) and emphasizes the changes need to academic integrity statements because of artificial intelligence.