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Kelso and Longview Districts Block ChatGPT on School Devices

Two districts in south Washington state joined several others across the U.S. in banning the artificial intelligence app ChatGPT, and they're using software tools to detect AI-generated writing.

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(TNS) — Schools across the nation — including in Kelso and Longview — have banned the popular artificial intelligence app ChatGPT that can help students cheat by writing essays.

Michele M. Nerland, public information officer for the Kelso School District, told The Daily News the district's "teaching and learning team is well aware" of the application and that the website has been blocked on school computers.

The school district is also using an application to detect AI-generated content to find potential cheaters, she added.

Longview School District spokesperson Rick Parrish said the district has "deployed software since the beginning of the current school year" that detects AI-created content.

ChatGPT is an AI software created by San Francisco-based company Open AI. The software debuted in November 2022, and users can ask the program questions and complete specific tasks like composing an email, writing code and even writing term papers.

School districts and universities have been sounding the alarm about ChatGPT for some time.

The Seattle Public Schools and the New York City Department of Education banned teachers and students from using the website on all school devices.

Darren Hudson Hick — a professor at South Carolina's Furman University and author of a book on copyright — writes on Facebook that he turned in a student for using ChatGPT in December.

The student allegedly used the software to write a 500-word term paper on the work of philosopher David Hume.

Hick advocated for university administrators to "develop standards for dealing with these kinds of cases" and to do so quickly.

"In my case, the student admitted to using ChatGPT," he writes about his findings, "but if she hadn't, I can't say whether all of this would have been enough evidence."

On Monday, Microsoft announced the software giant would be placing a "multiyear, multibillion dollar investment" into Open AI, following previous investments in 2019 and 2021.

©2023 The Daily News, Longview, Wash. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.