Tech Expert Says TikTok, Meta ‘Committing Criminal Offense’ By Advertising AI Bots

Photo from Dima Solomin on Unsplash

Tech Expert Says TikTok, Meta ‘Committing Criminal Offense’ By Advertising AI Bots

By Movieguide® Contributor

TikTok ads are making it even easier for students to use ChatGPT to cheat on assignments. 

“Many essay mills, which produce content for a fee, are touting that they combine both AI and human labor to create an end product that is undetectable by software designed to catch cheating,” Fast Company reported. “Such mills are soliciting clients on TikTok and Meta platforms—despite the fact that the practice is illegal in a number of countries.”

“Platforms like TikTok and Meta are committing a criminal offense by advertising these systems because most of these laws contain explicit criminal provisions about advertising,” Michael Veale, an associate professor in technology law at University College London, said about the apps pushing the AI bots to users. 

A spokesperson for TikTok said the ads Veale is referring to have been removed, adding, “We do not allow ads that are misleading or dishonest.”

Veale said the “vague” laws surrounding the situation make it more complicated, saying, “They’re so broad that Meta or TikTok, when they’re told about these illegal services, have to come to a decision on how widely they will enforce these laws.” 

Students using AI to cheat on assignments have become more and more commonplace. 

Mark Massaro, a teacher in Florida, said the software has “infected” schools. 

“The academic struggle for students is what pushes them to become better writers, thinkers and doers,” he wrote in an essay for The Hill. “Like most positive outcomes in life, the important part is the journey. Soon, getting college degrees without AI assistance will be as foreign to the next generation as payphones and Blockbuster, and they will suffer for it.”

He continued, “This next step of an overreliance on technology will further sever the American public from determining truth from lies, information from propaganda, a critical skill that is slowly becoming a lost art, leaving the population willfully ignorant and intellectually lazy.”

However, some teachers see it as just another challenge to overcome in the classroom. 

“We have been dealing with cheating methods and technologies as long as we have been asking students to prove their knowledge to us,” Siva Vaidhyanathan told The Guardian. “Each time students deploy a new method, we respond and correct for it. And each time, we get better at designing tasks that can help students learn better.”

Movieguide® previously reported on other teachers who see AI technology as a tool rather than a hindrance:

Some educators are fully embracing these AI tools and even using them to help automate the more menial aspects of the job.

Brian Stiles, a high school journalism teacher, uses ChatGPT to create writing prompts for his students.

“It can spit out all kinds of really generalized ideas for stories that they can tell, which is a great starting point for a lot of kids, especially the ones that struggle with coming up with creative approaches,” he said.

Rather than asking students should be able to use ChatGPT, the narrative should be based around the use of technology and the way it can help or hinder people’s ability to think critically, develop opinions and use technology to learn, rather than just consume.

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