EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) – The software has been called “the end of the English major.” By typing in a simple prompt, the AI ChatGPT can generate professional sounding writing in seconds.

Local universities are aware of the potential misuse, and have different ways of handling it.

“Going on those intuitive hunches I think is what is going to drive a lot of professors at this point until there is safeguards, checks, and protocols put into place,” says McManus Woodend of the USI English Department.

The University of Evansville echoes this sentiment, not believing it to be a significant threat just yet.

“We have such small class sizes, you get the professors that are working hands on approach with our students – they’ll know when something doesn’t necessarily look right,” says Noah Alatza, University of Evansville Chief Communications Officer.

The main issue is detection. Professors say that if a student’s writing were to suddenly improve, or their writing style has changed significantly, these could be signs that would be able to be observed by educators as unnatural.

Another sign of the AI’s use is what could be described as an “non-human” or detached style of writing that educators would be able to catch.

“One thing that I think reads through is an energy, is an intent, is a stance, and you don’t see that with what has come out in terms of ChatGPT’s output… Almost robotic in terms of tone and language as opposed to being more impassioned, or for lack of a better term, more human, in the response,” says Woodend.

Time will tell how much AI’s like ChatGPT will affect academia – and the world as a whole. Until then, educators and employers will have to keep an eye out to ensure academic and professional integrity.