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  • Writer's pictureSarah Dixon

ChatGPT Banned From Use in Student Assignments at Japanese University


Tokyo-based Sophia University just banned students from using OpenAI’s artificial intelligence (AI) tool ChatGPT.


ChatGPT was released to the public by OpenAI back in November 2022 and has since become a viral sensation.





The AI-powered natural language processing (NLP) tool is driven that can generate human-like responses to queries and assist users with advanced tasks like conducting research, writing and coding.


ChatGPT is touted as having the potential to transform the business and education landscape.

Indeed, students at Sophia University will now be banned from using the chatbot to help write their assignments, essays and reports.


In a new set of guidelines published to its website, Sophia University explained that “the use of text, program source code, calculation results generated by ChatGPT and other AI chatbots is not permitted on any assignments such as reaction papers, reports, essays and thesis, as they are not created by the student themselves”.


“If the use is confirmed by detection tools, etc, strict measures will be taken in accordance with the University’s Disciplinary Rules on Misconduct,” Sophia warned students.


Students may be tempted to turn to tools such as ChatGPT for assistance, given that ChatGPT is reported to have been able to pass advanced business school and medical exams.


Concerns About Data Leaks

Sophia University also issued a warning to teachers who plan to use ChatGPT to assist them in analyzing scientific data, or data relating to their students.


Any data inputted to ChatGPT could be unintentionally leaked to OpenAI and runs the risk of being presented to other users of the application.


“There is a risk that information that should not be leaked to the outside, such as information about the entrance examination and personal information of students and faculty members, will be transmitted to service providers through generation AI, etc, and there is a risk that it will be presented as an answer to other users,” Sophia University said.



Is ChatGPT a Threat to Privacy?

Sophia University’s steps to restrict the use of ChatGPT by students and staff comes amid rising concerns about the privacy of ChatGPT users in Europe.


Just last month, Italy banned ChatGPT and data protection authorities there have opened an investigation into the application.


Germany is also reported to be considering a ban on ChatGPT on similar grounds, whilst regulators in France and Ireland are reported to be in discussions with their Italian counterparts to understand why they banned the application.


Elsewhere, China’s payment & clearing industry association recently warned against uploading confidential documents to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence tools, citing risks such as “cross-border data leaks.”


Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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