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6 out of 19 Japanese universities surveyed have ChatGPT guidelines for students

This image shows a collage of the ChatGPT website and developer OpenAI's chief executive Sam Altman.

TOKYO -- Six out of 19 Japanese universities surveyed by the Mainichi Shimbun have expressed views or set guidelines for their students on using interactive artificial intelligence (AI) including the ChatGPT chatbot, now being adopted for a rapidly expanding list of applications.

    The Mainichi asked the 19 universities whether they have views or guidelines on interactive AI, and received responses from all of them by April 20. Osaka University, Kyushu University, Sophia University, Aoyama Gakuin University and Kwansei Gakuin University said "yes," and the University of Tokyo also posted its view to its website on April 3.

    Kyushu University responded, "We cannot agree with prohibiting using AI as a tool to find out what (students) want to know," and that the faculty members in charge of each first-year class have set rules for its use.

    At Osaka University, President Shojiro Nishio released a document titled "Regarding the use of generative AI" on the school's website on April 17. The document states, "If you submit answers obtained from AI as your own words without correctly judging their authenticity or falsity, you may be exposed to various risks. Please be aware of this."

    Sophia University in Tokyo announced a policy on March 27 prohibiting the use of AI-generated text, programming code and calculation results in reports, essays and dissertations. If a student is confirmed to have used AI in such a way, the university will "take strict measures." The school added that it will "continue to review and consider AI use, including its applications in education, as appropriate."

    The 13 other universities without an explicit stance stated that they are studying and gathering information with formulating guidelines in mind. Nagoya University stated, "We plan to announce the guidelines by July," while Kyoto-based Ritsumeikan University responded, "We have begun considering measures to prevent misuse and appropriate usage methods for graduation theses, master's theses, in-class mini-reports, etc." Meanwhile, Waseda University in Tokyo said, "We are considering the (guideline) details."

    In response to the question, "Are there any problems already?" Chuo University in Tokyo responded, "There are some cases in which interactive AI is used to summarize information in place of textbooks. This is a disincentive for students to acquire systematic knowledge."

    Professor Nobuyuki Sato, director of the Chuo University Platform for Research and Development on Higher Education, pointed out that "there is a concern that students who value time efficiency will use interactive AI more than those who are just inattentive." He added, "If the effort to learn one piece of knowledge is reduced, they think they can use the remaining time to study something else. However, students need to accumulate systematic knowledge to recognize errors in AI-generated texts."

    In the survey, 13 universities responded that they already have plagiarism detection software for student submissions such as reports.

    The 19 universities surveyed were: Aoyama Gakuin University, Osaka University, Kansai University, Kwansei Gakuin University, Kyushu University, Kyoto University, Keio University, Sophia University, Chuo University, the University of Tokyo, Doshisha University, Tohoku University, Nagoya University, Hosei University, Hokkaido University, Meiji University, Rikkyo University, Ritsumeikan University, and Waseda University.

    (Japanese original by Tatsuro Ando, Digital News Center)

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