Japan’s Universities Implement Restrictions On Students Use Of ChatGPT

In response to students’ use of ChatGPT, universities are taking steps to restrict them. Restrictions on using ChatGPT are becoming more common for essays and other assignments, with students being cautioned about the risk of information leaks. Experts have also noted the need for faculty members to take appropriate steps.

On March 27, Sophia University published its grading policy for “ChatGPT and other AI chatbots” on its official website, making it available to students and faculty.

According to the policy, using text, program source code, or calculation results generated by ChatGPT and other AI chatbots is strictly prohibited for assignments such as reaction papers, reports, essays, and theses without the express permission of instructors. If detected by monitoring tools or other means, severe consequences will occur.

Open AI, a U.S. startup, released ChatGPT free of cost in November of last year, and it has since been used by over 100 million people worldwide.

Despite its convenience, ChatGPT may provide incorrect responses in areas where the AI lacks knowledge or infringe upon copyright. Additionally, there is a risk that the AI could acquire confidential information about companies, research, and other sensitive subjects, which could then be leaked to outside parties.

Given that a complete ban on AI use by students is not feasible, universities have opted to restrict its use mainly in essay preparation while also issuing cautionary notices.

On April 3, the University of Tokyo published a document entitled “About Generative AI” on its internal website, which referred to various interactive AIs. The statement emphasized that “students themselves must create reports on their own, and they shouldn’t use AI in any way to create reports.”

During Kyoto University’s entrance ceremony on Friday, President Nagahiro Minato commented on the problems with AI-generated papers. “Writing requires significant energy, but it helps strengthen your mental and critical thinking abilities,” Minato advised students.

Universities are also urging faculty members to take measures in response to the use of AI.

Tohoku University has published a notice on the use of generative AI on its official website and called on faculty to reconsider how assignments are given, and exams are conducted. Suggestions include “testing AI responses before assigning tasks and reports” and “adopting an in-class writing exam format.”

Motohisa Kaneko, a professor specializing in higher education at the University of Tsukuba, believes that prohibiting generative AI in essay writing does not guarantee that students will not use the system. Instructors will need to be more creative, such as by having students submit reports and then administering oral exams.

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