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UofG networks record high number of ChatGPT connections

By Lena Schega

The number of connections to ChatGPT made via UofG wifi networks raises concerns surrounding its usage in academic work.

A freedom of information request revealed that Glasgow University has recorded 150,647 connections from their campus buildings and wi-fi networks to ChatGPT, since May 2023.

Robert Gordon University, in Aberdeen, said they were logging an average of 2,434 visits a month to the site, while Abertay University in Dundee revealed they had recorded 19,101 hits over the early summer months.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence language model that uses an algorithm to produce responses to questions and prompts. Reports have circulated that University of Glasgow students have used the platform to plagiarise work for assessments. This has prompted some, such as education policy expert Lindsay Paterson to warn that writing essays and dissertations may no longer be an appropriate way to assess student performance due to cheating concerns surrounding this new technology.

This news comes after it was announced that Turnitin, the plagiarism software used by the University of Glasgow, can now detect the use of AI chatbots such as ChatGPT amidst concerns that students may be using them to write coursework and answers to exams, however the reliability of the software has been questioned.

Speaking to STV, a University of Glasgow spokesperson said: “ChatGPT is a new technology, which brings with it new opportunities as well as new challenges. We are working with experts from our School of Computing Science to better understand ChatGPT’s capabilities and limitations, and how best to advise students to use it appropriately as a learning tool.  

“We have reminded students of their responsibilities and directed them to sources of guidance and support in how to appropriately use and reference learning resources. It remains fundamental to the integrity of academic study that whatever resources students use now and in the future, they do not present as their own work something that they did not do themselves.  

“Equally, it is important that we design our assessments in ways that reduce the potential impact of misuse of such AI and other tools. This has been a process under constant review for many years and it will remain so in the years to come.”

The University of Glasgow updated its academic regulations in March 2023 to include the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools and guidance issued to students and staff.


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