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Ed tech must reads: column #75

First published in Campus Morning Mail 4th April, 2023

Turnitin’s AI writing detector launches today – or does it?

Turnitin’s AI writing detection report is scheduled to launch today (April 4th). This will appear in the form of a single extra number in the standard similarity report interface representing the percentage of the document that Turnitin is 98% certain may have been created with Generative AI tools like ChatGPT. They claim a 1% false positive rate. This functionality is based on GPT 3 and GPT 3.5, not GPT 4. The simultaneous global release of this report has sparked wide discussion in the TEL community, captured in Twitter threads by Sian Bayne, Tim Fawns and Anna Mills, on a range of topics from the detectability of AI,  whether 1% false positives is acceptable and the need for alternative approaches to assessment.

While there was initially no option for institutions to opt out of the functionality – and there is no way for admins to disable it – a number of universities in the UK and some in Australia (Deakin, Sydney, Monash) have decided not to use the functionality just quite yet.  

Designs for our times: adapting assessment in an AI context – Webinar Wed 5th April 5pm AEST from ASCILITE Transforming Assessment, TELedvisors Network and Learning Design SIGs.

All of which makes this upcoming webinar about assessment and AI incredibly timely. Featuring a host of prominent academics including Thom Cochrane (UniMelb), Ruth Dimes (Auckland), Mitra Jayazeri (La Trobe) and Richard Hall (La Trobe), this session will look at practical approaches to assessment in this new AI age. (Or is that AIge?)

A Free, Open Source Course on Communicating with Artificial Intelligence from Learn Prompting

However things shake out, there is probably some value in learning to speak the language of our new digital overlords. This online course appears to be a good place to start, offering a tiered approach to developing skills in writing effective prompts for Gen AI tools.

The worst volume control interfaces in the world from Twitter

On a lighter note, I’m a sucker for deliberately bad user interface design. This thread of 22 competition entries from 2017 would offer the most annoying experiences imaginable for listening to audio.