by Nayeli Ellen
In an effort to address concerns surrounding students’ use of ChatGPT, universities across Japan are implementing restrictions on its application, as Insane reports. These limitations primarily target using ChatGPT for essays and other assignments, as students are warned about potential information leaks. Experts have also emphasized the importance of faculty members taking suitable measures.
Sophia University publicly disclosed its grading policy regarding “ChatGPT and other AI chatbots” on its official website on March 27. The policy explicitly states that using text, program source code, or calculation results produced by ChatGPT and other AI chatbots for assignments like reaction papers, reports, essays, and theses is strictly prohibited without instructors’ explicit consent. Severe consequences are expected if violations are discovered through monitoring tools or other methods.
Despite its efficiency, ChatGPT may generate incorrect answers in areas where its knowledge is insufficient or infringe upon copyright. Furthermore, there is a risk that the AI could obtain confidential information about businesses, research, or other sensitive topics, which could subsequently be leaked to external parties.
Understanding that a total ban on AI use by students is impractical, universities have chosen to mainly limit its use in essay writing and issue cautionary advisories.
The University of Tokyo posted a document titled “About Generative AI” on its internal website on April 3, which discussed various interactive AIs. The statement highlighted the necessity for students to create reports independently and discouraged any reliance on AI for report creation.
During Kyoto University’s entrance ceremony on Friday, President Nagahiro Minato addressed the issue of AI-generated papers. “Writing demands considerable effort, but it helps to enhance your mental and critical thinking abilities,” Minato counseled students.
Universities also encourage faculty members to take appropriate action in response to AI usage. Tohoku University has published a notice on generative AI usage on its official website and has requested faculty to reevaluate assignment and examination methods. Recommendations include “testing AI responses before assigning tasks and reports” and “adopting an in-class writing exam format.”
Motohisa Kaneko, a higher education specialist and professor at the University of Tsukuba, argues that banning generative AI in essay writing does not ensure that students will refrain from using the system. Instructors will need to employ more inventive strategies, such as requiring students to submit reports followed by oral examinations.
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