Are Algorithmically-Generated Term Papers the Next Big Challenge to Academic Integrity?

Jeffrey Young:

There’s a new application of AI in education, and educators aren’t going to like it.

A growing number of companies now let students outsource their homework to a bot—or, more specifically, an algorithm that writes term papers for them based on chosen keywords.

For instance, after subscribing to a service called EssaySoft, you can tell its essay generator to write a paper on, say, “symbolism in the great Gatsby” (or whatever you need for class). Then you enter how many words you want the final paper to be, select other specs from drop-down menus (set research depth to “low” if you want the machine to return an answer as fast as possible), and click “Generate Essay.”

“Within five years these essay generators will be good enough that [students who want to cheat] won’t have to hire people anymore. They can just have the essay generator do it.”

—Tricia Bertram Gallant, director of the Academic Integrity Office at the University of California San Diego