RUB drafting new policy for using Generative AI to regulate academic writing

Artificial intelligence and chatbots can be both helpful and harmful, especially in education. They can enhance learning but can also be misused for cheating. As AI evolves, it is crucial to address its ethical use. Currently, there’s a need for policies to regulate academic writing beyond just plagiarism, especially regarding the use of AI. In light of this, the Royal University of Bhutan is drafting a new policy for using Generative Artificial Intelligence or Gen AI.

Generative AI is artificial intelligence capable of generating texts, images, video and audio. It is now influencing academic writing and assessments by making it challenging for instructors to distinguish student work from AI-generated content.

Students can use Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, Gemini AI, and Bing Co-pilot to produce complete English assignments without writing themselves.

Currently, universities or educational institutions in the country lack policies governing the use of Generative AI.

Tech expert and AI enthusiast, Kinga Tshering, says that the best way to detect the use of AI is by using AI itself.

“I think just as the students tend to plagiarize and use AI to copy a paper, the institutions also have the software system that will catch you. So just like I suggested, use AI to catch AI mischief. But my view is I think we should not curb it this way because for example ChatGPT does come up with very good grammatical structure, and good sentences And I think the trick will be again for the teachers to be one step ahead of the kids.”

Sherubtse College at Trashigang, where students are using AI tools for their assignments, has been seeking the help of online AI detection software. They are also drafting a policy of their own.

“We do not have a specific AI-related policy on the use of AI. However, what we have is currently an existing policy on plagiarism. And that policy states that if 30 per cent of the student’s work is plagiarised. Then we would ask them to redo it based on reduced marks,” said Sonam Dendup, a lecturer at Sherubtse College.

 He added that out of 3,000 assignments this semester, there was no detection of AI use in 2,500. However, AI use was detected in 10 to 20 per cent of the remaining 500 assignments.

He further added that the college plans to provide more training to the staff and faculty to improve teaching and learning using AI.

Meanwhile, the Royal University of Bhutan says it is preparing its draft policies and regulations for the use of Generative AI. They will be presenting it to the Academic board for final approval and endorsement soon. They did not share any more details.

Sonam Dendup

Edited by Sonam Pem

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