In the past, students limited cheating to copying a classmate’s assignment or downloading an essay from the internet which plagiarism tools could easily detect. Now, cheating has taken a technological turn— with AI helping students gain an unfair advantage on their essays, it’s turning heads as the all-solutions provider to essays.
A new research study has revealed that students in the United States increasingly turn to AI to cheat on their essays. The data has shown the states in the US where students are most eager to use AI tools to write their papers for them.
Online tool specialists at Tiny Wow analyzed Google Trends on searches for phrases such as ‘essay writer,’ ‘essay ai writer,’ and ‘chatgpt essay.’ The terms were combined to give each state an ‘interest score’ and determine which states’ students have been most interested in AI essay writing software over the last 12 months.
States With The Greatest Interest in AI Tools For Essays
Tiny Wow discovered that all states showed some interest in AI tools, yet the following states surpassed all others. Idaho, New Jersey, and Utah swept the top spots, with the most searches for AI writing tools in the country:
- Idaho – 70 points
- New Jersey – 66 points
- Utah – 51 points
- Massachusetts – 63 points
- Washington – 63 points
- Virginia – 61 points
- Nevada – 60 points
- New Mexico – 58 points
- Connecticut – 58 points
- Rhode Island – 58 points
Hot Spots For Using AI Essay Tools
Idaho ranked as the state with the most interest in AI essay writing tools, with an overall interest score of 70. Online searches for the phrase ‘essay ai writer’ were most prevalent in Idaho, while searches for ‘chatgpt essay’ ranked in fourth place out of every other state.
New Jersey comes in second place with an interest score of 66. Online searches for ‘essay ai’ and ‘chatgpt essay’ ranked third place for New Jersey out of every other state.
Students in Utah are the third most interested in AI essay writing, scoring 65, just one interest point behind New Jersey. Online searches for ‘essay ai’ in Utah ranked in second place out of every other US state.
Massachusetts and Washington state come in joint fourth place with an overall interest score of 63. Searches for the phrase ‘essay ai’ were third highest in Massachusetts compared to all other states. In Washington, searches for the phrase ‘essay ai writer’ was fourth highest.
Rhode Island students have taken a particular interest in utilizing ChatGPT for their essay writing needs, as the state’s online searches for ‘chatgpt essay’ far surpassed all other states.
Questions Surrounding the Quality of Learning
“The worry from educators is that ChatGPT and other AI software could harm student learning,” a spokesperson from Tiny Wow said. “Students attempting to utilize this artificial intelligence are not only undermining the integrity of their education, but they are breaking the rules.”
Due to the sophistication of AI, it often evades anti-plagiarism software, leaving teachers in an uncomfortable position as they cannot prove a student used AI to write their essay.
“The essay writing abilities of AI software are becoming so efficient, comprehensive, and coherent that students across the world could be utilizing this to do their homework for them,” Tiny Wow reports.
“If new AI technology can evade anti-plagiarism software, then pen-and-paper exams and coursework may be the future for students,” they said. “Using these incredible new tools should be done so with caution, as the temptation to let an intelligent software do the work for you can open you up to potential risks of plagiarism or presenting inaccurate facts.”
AI May Soon Be Detectable
OpenAI, the innovators behind ChatGPT and DALL-E’s text-to-image generator, revealed they had devised a classifier to distinguish between human-written text versus those written by AIs.
Yet it’s not foolproof; tests appropriately recognized that 26% of AI writings were ‘likely AI-written’ while the mislabeling of human-written texts as AI-written occurred 9% of the time. According to their data, the tool performs “significantly worse” in languages other than English.
Despite its current limitations, they are eager to keep this tool public and welcome feedback from those in the education field to advance their methods moving forward.
According to OpenAI, educators should disclose the use of ChatGPT in generating lesson materials. They must also support students to be more open and transparent about using the chatbot and AI in assignments and activities.
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.