Monday, March 4, 2024

A College Student Was Accused of Cheating...for Using Grammarly

I use Grammarly. There is a paid version that can recommend different phrasing but the free version is great for picking up on things like misspellings, iffy grammar, or unnecessary hyphens (a lot of two-word phrases don't need hyphens, but, "Two-word," does, funnily enough). I'd recommend the free version of Grammarly to everyone and if you think the paid version would assist you I'd say to go for it as well. However, if you're in college you maybe need to be careful as a young woman named Marley Stevens was put on academic probation after a paper she wrote got a zero grade. The reason? Various paper-checking systems claimed she used A.I. in some fashion to, "Write," her paper and she has steadfastly declared she only used Grammarly.

Where this gets a little complicated is how apparently Grammarly (at least the fancier levels) does use a degree of generative AI. This meant the professor felt Marley was, "Unintentionally cheating," even though the school itself tells students to use Grammarly! I'm not sure if we need to be perturbed at the professor, school, Grammarly, or the general ways A.I. is causing a ruckus these days. Grammarly, to their credit, has offered to speak to Stevens' school (University of North Georgia) and offered $4,000 for her GoFundMe she created to help pay for college with her scholarship possibly in jeopardy due to this fiasco. Ya'll, was I not just saying the other day how, "AI is advancing at a rate much faster than people seem ready for," if I may quote myself. Should it be a fact that Grammarly uses A.I. than a college would have every right to tell students not to use it if that were said college's policy. However, if some university is going to encourage students to use a program such as Grammarly and then punish them, that is a prime example of A.I. resulting in muddied waters and people not knowing how the Hell to consider what is and isn't kosher with A.I. Things are only going to get worse and messier with A.I. before they get better, aren't they?

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