May 29, 2024

From my TOK essay to my Written Tasks, I have plagiarized ideas, sentences, and sometimes even plagiarized paragraphs. Which IB student hasn’t!! Every student has lifted up ideas and sentences, rephrased them, and passed it on as their own work. The reasons a student does this might vary from the genuine lack of knowledge to entirely dishonourable intentions, but the most common reasons students choose to plagiarize are laziness and the fear of failing.

Students have been plagiarizing for years by rephrasing sentences so they don’t get caught. There has been no innovation in this sector, until this guy, a legend in the student community, came along. This evil genius named Tiago who is getting his masters degree in business who had this ingenious idea and used a neural network to write essays for his coursework. And he passed!

Initially, an artificial intelligence development company OpenAI was cautious and deemed its new text-writing algorithm GPT-2, which Tiago used, as dangerous. they were concerned that if this algorithm is released to the public, it would be used to generate fake news and propaganda. However, when they did actually realize it, worlds smartest people used GPT-2 as an AI dungeon master. Nerds, right!!! (Honestly, I would have done the same).

Even before this mastermind used an AI to do his homework, GPT-2 was used to write essays for famous magazines and websites like The Economist where this algorithm was used to write an essay on climate change. I was amazed after I read that article! It is way better than anything I could have written.

Tiago studying business didn’t have the technical background to use this complicated neural network. He used a tool, a website, that made GPT-2 very accessible —

So, how did he write an essay using GPT-2 or how do I use it?

It’s pretty simple.

You need to first decide and plan on the outline of your essay, with a few sentences per paragraph which convey the main idea you are trying to get across. Then all you need to do is feed in the first sentence, the topic sentence, of each paragraph and wait. GPT-2 will give you the complete paragraph. Yes, you will need to iterate this a few times till you get your desired paragraph. GPT-2 may add false quotes and information about the stuff you want to talk about, so beware and always check the final paragraph and correct the minor errors. Using businessy or sciency words in your topic sentence will result in the content of the output more businessy or sciency respectively. So to make your essay more suited for your course and class, make sure to use terms and worse used a lot in that specific course. And remember the tone of the resulting paragraph will be according to the tone of your topic sentence. Also, you will need to do light editing to ensure that there is a smooth flow between all the paragraphs and the essay in its entirety makes sense.

Go try it out!! Beware teachers!

It’s easier to find out than normal plagiarism. You just need to feed the essay into GPT-2 and if it is able to predict the next words, it is written by GPT-2. But the good news is that schools and teachers, I think, don’t even consider the possibility of students using neural networks to complete their assignments. In the future, plagiarism software like Turnitin might add modules in their updates to detect GPT-2 so tread carefully.

This technique is efficient when your essay topic is not fact-based, not information dense is more open-ended. That is the reason why business students might find this more helpful than science students. An example of an open-ended essay topic could be “The importance of specialized education in society”.

Everyone reading this article remember that there is no easy way of getting a good grade. There is only one way which is genuine hard work. The essay produced by GPT-2 will not be great or perfect, it will be bad but just not bad enough for your teachers to fail you. So I hope all of you work hard. The feeling of satisfaction and happiness you get when your own work is complemented and gets a good grade is the best.

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