A top French university on Friday forbade students from using artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT to complete assignments, in the first such ban at a college in the country.
The bot from OpenAI, a US company that this week received a massive cash injection from Microsoft, responds to simple prompts with reams of text inspired by data gathered on the internet.
The Sciences Po school in Paris, one of the most prestigious universities in France, said anyone found to have used the chatbot would face “sanctions which can go as far as expulsion from the establishment or even from higher learning”.
“The use, without explicit mention, of ChatGPT or any other tool using AI at Sciences Po is… for the moment strictly forbidden for students producing written or oral assignments,” the university said.
The only exception was its “educational use under supervision of a teacher”, it added in an open letter to students and lecturers, citing concerns about other uses leading to plagiarism.
The decision comes after it emerged this week that ChatGPT had passed exams at a US law school after writing essays on topics ranging from constitutional law to taxation and torts.
Jonathan Choi, a professor at Minnesota University Law School, gave the bot the same test as students, and it scored a C + overall, just enough to pass.
But the professor played down the possibility of students using the bot to cheat, saying that two out of three markers had spotted the bot-written paper.
ChatGPT still makes factual mistakes, but education facilities in other countries have rushed to ban the AI tool.
Officials in New York and other jurisdictions have forbidden its use in schools.
A group of Australian universities have said they would change exam formats to banish AI tools and regard them as cheating.
Many universities already use software that detects plagiarism, and at least one programmer is working on an app to detect when a text has been written by ChatGPT.