Honor Code?

ChatGPT is a major advancement in artificial intelligence, but its implications for education are complicated.


Kat Klinefelter

Rapid advancements in artificial intelligence are making it difficult for teachers to determine the authenticity of student writing.

Kat Klinefelter, Multimedia Editor

ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot that was created by OpenAI and uses the Generative Pretrained Transformer (GPT) language model. However, while it is powered by artificial intelligence, the chatbot is able to create human-like responses that are remarkably convincing. 

“Many educators have predicted that ChatGPT, and tools like it, will spell the end of homework and take-home exams,” New York Times reporter Kevin Roose recently wrote.

What helps make this so convincing is ChatGPT’s use of a large language model, or LLM, to create the most human-like responses. The program has 175 billion parameters, meaning it is currently the most powerful language-processing AI model. However, even with these incredible functions, the program still has its limitations and has been known to create false historical names and books and is incapable of solving certain mathematical problems. 

Due to its human-like responses, ChatGPT has created concerns within classrooms. Some teachers are concerned that some of their students may be using the chatbot to complete whole essays.

As a way to test the theory, The Uproar asked NASH English teacher Mrs. Rhinehart to read two paragraph-length responses to one of her writing prompts. One, she was told, was written by a student. The other was written by ChatGPT. Her goal was to grade both responses and decide which one was written by AI.


Prompt: Discuss the theme of rebirth/regeneration in Crime and Punishment, specifically related to  punishment and suffering.

Response 1:

The theme of rebirth or regeneration in “Crime and Punishment” is a central aspect of the novel and is closely tied to the idea of punishment and suffering. Throughout the book, the protagonist, Raskolnikov, experiences a profound psychological journey as he grapples with the guilt of his crimes and the consequences of his actions. Through his suffering, Raskolnikov eventually comes to understand the error of his ways and learns the value of redemption and forgiveness. As a result of his punishment, both from society and from his own conscience, Raskolnikov is ultimately transformed into a new person who is capable of feeling empathy and remorse. This theme of rebirth through suffering is a powerful reminder that even the most criminal and degraded individuals have the potential to change and to find redemption.

Response 2: 

The theme of rebirth or regeneration in “Crime and Punishment” is intricately linked to the concept of punishment and suffering. Throughout the novel, Fyodor Dostoevsky explores the idea that only through punishment and suffering can one truly be reborn and achieve spiritual redemption. The protagonist, Raskolnikov, commits a crime in the belief that he is justified in doing so, but as the consequences of his actions catch up with him, he begins to realize the error of his ways. As he grapples with guilt and the punishment meted out by society, Raskolnikov transforms from an arrogant and nihilistic intellectual into a person capable of feeling empathy and remorse.


After reading both of the responses, Rhinehart said that “the ideas were the same, but the wording was different in some places. I would expect specific references to the text, which these don’t really offer. They get the job done in the most minimal way and would not score well in terms of thoroughness.”

Rhinehart explained that she may not be able to tell if either response was AI-generated if they were part of a stack of student papers — it would all depend on what she was expecting from the assignment and how well she knew each student’s writing style.

In this particular instance, she said she suspected that both were written by AI or paraphrased from an auto-generated response. 

Currently there are tools that teachers can use to check whether a student’s assignment is written by AI. Both responses that Rhinehart read for The Uproar were run through the program AI Writing Check. The first prompt response was flagged for being written by AI, but the second response was not.

Full disclosure: Rhinehart was correct — both responses were written using ChatGPT. Neither of the responses was altered by a human, yet the second response passed through AI Writing Check.

“[Chat GPT] worries me because I worry about any tool that can be exploited to replace actual thinking,” she said. “However, ChatGPT isn’t going to go away. Students will find ways to use ChatGPT even if we prohibit it, so how do we work with it rather than against it to benefit students?”