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ChatGPT allowed in International Baccalaureate essays

May 12, 2023

Original Article:

Schoolchildren are allowed to quote from content created by ChatGPT in their essays, the International Baccalaureate has said.

The IB, which offers an alternative qualification to A-levels and Highers, said students could use the chatbot but must be clear when they were quoting its responses.

ChatGPT has become a sensation since its public release in November, with its ability to produce plausible responses to text prompts, including requests to write essays.

While the prospect of ChatGPT-based cheating has alarmed teachers and the academic profession, Matt Glanville, the IB’s head of assessment principles and practice, said the chatbot should be embraced as “an extraordinary opportunity”.

However, Glanville told the Times, the responses must be treated as any other source in essays.

“The clear line between using ChatGPT and providing original work is exactly the same as using ideas taken from other people or the internet. As with any quote or material adapted from another source, it must be credited in the body of the text and appropriately referenced in the bibliography,” he said.

The IB is taken by thousands of children every year in the UK at more than 120 schools.

Glanville said essay writing would feature less prominently in the qualifications process in the future because of the rise of chatbot technology.

“Essay writing is, however, being profoundly challenged by the rise of new technology and there’s no doubt that it will have much less prominence in the future.”

He added: “When AI can essentially write an essay at the touch of a button, we need our pupils to master different skills, such as understanding if the essay is any good or if it has missed context, has used biased data or if it is lacking in creativity. These will be far more important skills than writing an essay, so the assessment tasks we set will need to reflect this.”

ChatGPT was developed by OpenAI, a San Francisco-based company backed by Microsoft. Microsoft has integrated OpenAI technology into its Bing search engine and Google has announced the creation of its own chatbot, Bard, although it has yet to release it publicly.

On Monday, Snapchat announced it would deploy a chatbot based on the same technology as ChatGPT. The messaging app said its chatbot, called My AI, would be rolled out to subscribers to its premium service, Snapchat+.

Reflecting some of the problems encountered by ChatGPT and Bing users, Snapchat said the “experimental” chatbot would produce errors.

“While My AI is designed to avoid biased, incorrect, harmful, or misleading information, mistakes may occur,” it said.

Snapchat added that the service could be used for a range of purposes, similar to how ChatGPT and Bing have been used, including recommending gift ideas and planning hiking holidays.

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