Russian Student Allowed to Keep Diploma for ChatGPT-Written Thesis

Alexandr Zhadan Alexandr Zhadan / twitter

A Russian student who sparked controversy for defending his thesis written by the fast-growing artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT will be allowed to keep his diploma, media reported Thursday.

Alexander Zhadan said Wednesday he had successfully used the U.S. company OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot to write his work and receive a passing grade. 

“In short, writing a thesis with ChatGPT is cool,” Zhadan said in a viral Twitter thread.

“You definitely need to edit it yourself, but the machine produces most of it on its own,” he said, detailing his 23-hour effort to write prompts and translate ChatGPT’s answers into Russian.

The Russian State University for the Humanities, where Zhadan defended his thesis in modern organizational management, summoned the student for talks after his story gained widespread public attention.

According to the Podyom news outlet, the meeting resulted in Zhadan being allowed to keep his diploma.

“Neither the university nor I have the intention of harming each other, so everything will remain as it was before I published the story,” he said.

“We settled with the help of a lawyer,” Zhadan added, declining to disclose the terms of settlement.

The university has called for restrictions on chatbots “due to their likely negative influence on education.”

To combat academic dishonesty, OpenAI announced Wednesday the release of a software tool to distinguish AI-generated texts.

ChatGPT set a record for the fastest-growing user base after debuting in November and gaining popularity for its human-like ability to write essays and articles, as well as jokes and poetry.

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