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Canvas Version: Plagiarism Tutorial

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Plagiarism

A typewriter with a paper that has the words "Artificial Intelligence" typed on it.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash


A growing concern is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots to write entire essays and articles. While it may be tempting to use AI in this way, please be aware that this is also considered a form of plagiarism. 

To see why, take a look at section 1.2 from SJSU’s Academic Integrity Policy:


San José State University defines plagiarism as the act of representing the work of another as one’s own without giving appropriate credit, regardless of how that work was obtained, and submitting it to fulfill academic requirements. 


Notice the parts of the policy that have been italicized for emphasis. These highlight a couple of important things:

  • Doing academic work requires that the work you turn in is your own. A paper that is written by AI is not considered your own original work. 
  • It doesn’t matter which AI program/software you use. Using any of these to write your papers is considered a form of plagiarism. 


It is important to note that tools that check your writing are okay to use. Examples can include the autocorrect feature in Google Docs and the app Grammarly. These tools, which scan pieces of writing for errors and/or make suggestions for edits, are very different from AI programs that write entire papers. The key difference is that it is your own original writing that is being scanned for possible mistakes versus AI that does all the writing for you.


Also, keep in mind that professors do in fact have tools that enable them to check if papers have been written by AI. One example of this is GPTZero. As AI evolves, these anti-plagiarism tools are also being upgraded to ensure that plagiarism can be detected.