Louisiana State University athlete and social media influencer Olivia Dunne posted a TikTok last weekend promoting Caktus AI, an AI essay-writing tool, to her more than seven million followers. In the paid advertisement, Dunne wrote that the tool “will provide real resources for you to cite at the end of your essays and paragraphs;)”
“Can’t imagine the school is gonna like this one [laughing face emoji],” a TikToker who goes by user588168471905 replied.
Indeed. In the wake of Dunne’s post, Louisiana State University issued a statement: “Technology, including AI, can foster learning and creativity. At LSU, our professors and students are empowered to use technology for learning and pursuing the highest standards of academic integrity. However, using AI to produce work that a student then represents as one’s own could result in a charge of academic misconduct, as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. More information for faculty can be found here on ‘What College Faculty Should Know about ChatGPT,’” the statement said, according to WBRZ.
Dunne has since released another TikTok that could be interpreted as a response to her university, according to The Comeback. In it, she mimes dialogue from the popular TV series The Office: “What did I say? I talk a lot, so I’ve learned to just tune myself out.”
The news is set against the backdrop of an AI arms race that has struck some of higher ed’s most cherished values, including academic integrity, learning and life itself. In late 2022, OpenAI released ChatGPT—a sophisticated AI chat bot that interacts with users in a conversational way. Household names such as Google and Microsoft, as well as lesser known players such as Moonbeam and Caktus AI, now all offer sophisticated AI writing tools that produce plausible, college-level essays.
Though AI systems are expected to produce text that will one day be indistinguishable from human-written prose, many academics say that AI writing detection is a losing battle worth fighting.