A student who used an artificial intelligence bot to write an assignment for university received a pass mark from a professor.
Pieter Snepvangers used ChatGPT, the chat bot that has taken the world by storm since its release, to conduct an 'experiment' to see if it was capable of university level essays.
The student instructed the bot to construct a 2,000-word essay on social policy which it then knocked up in under 20 minutes.
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Pieter then asked a professor from a Russell Group university to mark it.
He was stunned when the tutor gave the piece a mark of 53 – a passing 2:2 mark.
According to the professor, the essay was 'fishy' but 'closer to the work of a waffling, lazy student than an AI.'
"You definitely can't cheat your way to a first-class degree, but you can cheat your way to a 2:2," he said.
ChatGPT was launched in November 2022 and marks a turning point in AI technology, thanks to its uncanny ability to respond to highly complex questions with usually impeccable accuracy.
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In theory it allows users to ask any question possible and receive an answer in seconds while mimmicking the style and syntax of a human response.
Certain colleges in the US have already banned the software while UK universities are scrambling to find methods to detect its use.
Writing for student newssite The Tab, Pieter said: "I found a fairly prestigious Russell Group university and asked one of its lecturers if I could take his final-year social policy assessment to see if ChatGPT could really work.
"I wanted to know what mark I could get and whether or not he'd spot the essay was written by a bot.
"Under the premise of being a third-year social policy student completing a 2,000-word essay worth 75 per cent of a unit, I got to work."
Pieter simply gave the bot the essay question and requested it to be 2,000 words with references.
The first draft drummed up by the tech had only 365 words, forcing Pieter to take a different approach.
He then asked the bot ten sub questions relating to the essay question it answered with the word count totalling 3,500.
He then simply chose the best paragraphs and copied them in an order that 'resembled the structure of an essay'.
He spent a total of 20 minutes on the task.
"All in all, 20 minutes to produce an essay which is supposed to demonstrate 12 weeks of learning. Not bad," he said.
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