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Texas A&M University-Commerce investigating after AI chatbot claims to have written every essay in professor's class

The university said no students have failed the class or were barred from graduating because of this, and that the professor is working with students individually.

COMMERCE, Texas — A Texas A&M-Commerce professor is working with students in his class after he reportedly ran each of their final essays through the AI chatbot ChatGPT, which claimed to have written each essay. 

Jared Mumm, who teaches agricultural classes at the university, gave students the temporary grade of "X" -- meaning incomplete -- while working with students to determine whether AI was used in writing any of the essays and at what level if so.

"A&M-Commerce confirms that no students failed the class or were barred from graduating because of this issue," the school said in a statement. 

In an email sent to his class on Monday, Mumm wrote that he pasted each students' three written responses into ChatGPT two separate times, and if both times the writing was claimed by the bot, he would give the student a 0 for the assignment. 

While there are AI-based plagiarism detection tools, ChatGPT is not considered to be one of them. One digital marketing agency even described ChatGPT as "not very accurate" when determining whether text has been written by a bot.

Several students have already been exonerated, the school said, and have had their grades issued, while one student did admit to using ChatGPT in the course. Other students have opted for a new writing assignment from the professor. 

The university says officials are investigating the incident and are developing policies to address the use, or misuse, of AI technology in class, and are working on adopting AI detection tools to manage the intersection of higher education with AI. 

"The use of AI in coursework is a rapidly changing issue that confronts all learning institutions," the university said in the statement.

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