In brief: The proliferation of generative AIs like ChatGPT has impacted many areas of society, not least education, where students are using chatbots to cheat on their exams. Now, colleges are looking at ways to AI-proof test questions and assignments.

Timothy Main, a writing professor at Conestoga College in Canada, illustrated the extent of students cheating with chatbots by telling AP, "I had answers come in that said, 'I am just an AI language model, I don't have an opinion on that.'"

"I've caught dozens," he said. "We're in full-on crisis mode."

The fear is that while students need to know about generative AI, overreliance on the systems to produce work will stop them from absorbing the information and learning skills. Moreover, it's been shown that reliably detecting whether text has been created by an AI is impossible. OpenAI's own detection tool was shuttered soon after launch due to its low rate of accuracy.

One of the educators looking to "ChatGPT-proof" their courses is Bonnie MacKellar, a computer science professor at St. Johns University in New York. She is making the students in her intro course handwrite their code, and the paper exams will count for a higher percentage of the overall grade.

"There is going to be a big shift back to paper-based tests," she said. "I hear colleagues in humanities courses saying the same thing: It's back to the blue books."

Bill Hart-Davidson, an associate dean at Michigan State University's College of Arts and Letters, suggests changing the way questions are posed as one possible solution. An example would be to give a description that has errors in it and ask students to point them out.

Hart-Davidson added that assignment questions should include a request for students to be "explicit and reflective about the moves they are making." Other professors suggested that students show their editing history and drafts in completed assignments. A document that displays corrected typos and rephrased sentences could help prove it was created by a human.

AP notes that research tools such as library databases have seen a decline in use following the emergence of chatbots. The tools have also impacted the growth of Chegg Inc., an online company that offers homework help and has been cited in a number of cheating cases.

In January, just as ChatGPT was taking off, New York School officials said that the AI tool would not be accessible through the district network or devices. The move was due to fears that students could use it to easily write their essays or to cheat during exams.