Writing tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to reduce manuscript preparation time to a few days, or hours. Deep-learning technologies that run chatbots, spellchecks and auto-generated tweets are being used in a growing number of products pitched at students and academics.
Grammarly, for example, claims to “inspect your writing carefully to improve clarity, word choice and more”, offering free and fee-based services.
But are these tools up to the task? In an experiment through education information site EduRef, a group of recent graduates, undergraduates and self-described undergraduate-level writers were given the same assignments as GPT-3, an AI language program developed by OpenAI, a research company co-founded by Elon Musk.
The assignments were evaluated by instructors who did not know who (or what) had written them. GPT-3 performed in line with the humans, according to EduRef, and received “more or less the same feedback”.