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ChatGPT Mistake Costs Recent College Graduates Their Diplomas

If 2023 has taught us anything it’s that artificial intelligence is the wave of the future — much like the metaverse before that, and the internet of things before that, and NFT’s before that… — but there are still obvious issues with the technology. 

ChatGPT has taken the world by storm in recent months with enterprising users testing out the limits of what the technology is capable of being. But there are increasing signs that the tech is just as prone to making mistakes as its human counterparts. 

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A ChatGPT misfire reportedly cost recent Texas A&M University graduates their diplomas — at least temporarily.

A post on Reddit claims that Dr. Jared Mumm used ChatGPT to find out if his students had plagiarized their final three assignments of the semester. ChatGPT’s answer: absolutely. 

“I copy and paste your responses in [ChatGPT] and [it] will tell me if the program generated the content,” Dr. Jared Mumm, a campus rodeo instructor who also teaches agricultural classes, wrote to students in an email. 

ChatGPT claimed that it had written every single passage that was entered into its system. The students, including those who have already graduated, would receive an “X” grade in the course

A little over half of the students in the class had their diplomas placed on hold, according to the Reddit user who made the post. 

Apparently, ChatGPT isn’t equipped to detect material composed by AI, or even material it has written, and will even claim to have written passages from famous novels like Crime and Punishment, according to Rolling Stone.

Students provided Mumm with timestamps on Google Docs they used to complete their work in order to exonerate themselves.

“The professor in question is working individually with a few students regarding their last written assignments,” Texas A&M said to PCMag. “No students failed the class or were barred from graduating as a result of this issue.”

But the Reddit user who made the initial post said that his fiancé is still waiting to receive her diploma. 

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