Is It Plagiarism? Inside ChatGTP’s Impact on Education

How ChatGTP and other forms of AI will influence the future of education.


media by Danny Curran

A graphic depicts the educational impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

by Danny Curran, Graphics Editor

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a very easy tool for students to take advantage of. Why write a five-paragraph essay for English class when AI can do it in under a minute? 

Multiple services have popped up that can be used for a fee or for free. The most popular one so far is currently ChatGPT. Made by OpenAI and averaging over 20 million users in a month, ChatGPT has been used by thousands of students across the nation, according to US News. Schools around the nation have called it out saying that it is plagiarism and that students will receive the same consequences of plagiarism if caught using AI. 

This brings up the question: is using AI really plagiarism? The entire concept of plagiarism is copying somebody else’s work and claiming that it is your own work, but AI is not viewed as “someone.” OpenAI does not claim the work that is produced. 

In order to try to address this problem, ChatGTP detectors have been developed. The first is GPTZero, made by Edward Tian, a current student at Princeton University, according to US News. Tian made GPTZero for educators for teachers to check if students’ text is written by an AI or if it was written by a real person.

There is also a different side to this new wave of AI. Some schools don’t view this as plagiarism and have ideas for working with ChatGTP. Instead of making students writers, we can make them editors. There have been some teachers who have said that we could benefit from this and teach and learn with the ChatGPT program, which could even help improve students’ literacy rate

OpenAI is also known for creating Dall-E, an image generation program. The user gives it a prompt, and in about five minutes it generates an image, which can be regenerated to get the desired result. The image can be generated in the style of a stock photo, in a hand-drawn way or made to look like digital or 3D art. 

However, this may potentially be problematic for a variety of art classes. Instead of spending hours drawing something complex, just wait five minutes, and if it’s not picture-perfect the first time, then just regenerate again.  

“The database that the AI learns [from] is entirely composed of imagery that is not [owned by the] creators of the AI. None of the artists that created the artwork that the AI bases its generated images [on] voluntarily [gave their art] to the creators of the AI for the purpose of training,” Jackson Hitchler ’23 said

According to Oxford Languages, plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. AI is not someone, not a person, not a human, not an animal. AI is a program created by humans. If those humans do not claim ownership of any of the work that is produced, then would it belong to you, to the public, or to nobody?