The Anchorage School Board on Tuesday updated its policy surrounding academic honesty to include a provision that prohibits students from submitting work generated by artificial intelligence as their own.
The policy comes amid the recent rise of ChatGPT, an online chatbot that uses artificial intelligence and has been trained on massive amounts of data online. It allows users to type in specific questions and it will generate answers, from fixing software issues to writing essays.
Following the vote, the updated policy states: “The Board expects that students will not cheat, lie, plagiarize, or claim products generated by Artificial Intelligence as their own.”
The platform’s emergence has created a host of new questions for educators and school districts nationwide that are attempting to stay one step ahead of plagiarism in their classrooms. New York City schools banned the use of the chatbot recently, as did the Los Angeles Unified School District, according to the The Washington Post.
At a January school board meeting, member Kelly Lessens — who prepared the revision along with the chair of the board’s governance committee, Andy Holleman — noted that ChatGPT’s content was undetectable by plagiarism detectors and potentially teachers, and that it could generate a five-paragraph essay in the tone of a high school sophomore.
“It’s just the tip of the iceberg — artificial intelligence is coming and there are going to be more iterations that are going to transform what we ask our students to know and be able to do,” Lessens said.
Lessens said at the time that she didn’t think banning ChatGPT like the New York schools was the most equitable or correct path. Instead, Lessens said, she thought teachers, students, parents and administrators should provide input in how to harness the program.
She also said she’d like to increase the value of skills that ChatGPT and other programs cannot do, including oral work, in-class writing and communication.
Sven Gustafson, chief academic officer for the Anchorage School District, said this week he hadn’t heard anything in regard to issues for teachers and students related to the chatbot.
District spokeswoman Lisa Miller said via email that on the emergence of ChatGPT, “the District still has a lot more questions than answers. Administrators are looking into it per the board’s request.”