News from the world of higher education
Stäng denna sökruta.
News from the world of higher education
Stäng denna sökruta.
This content comes from our previous website and may therefore look different. We ask for your indulgence on this.

AI chatbot compared to ghostwriters

There has been a great deal of heated discussion since the chatbot ChatGPT was launched. Just about everyone in the higher education sector has been talking about artificial intelligence. So when does it become cheating?

Linus Hellerstedt
There has been much heated discussion about the chatbot ChatGPT in the higher education sector.

When OpenAI launched its new chatbot ChatGPT in December, the debate took off at higher education institutions. Social media forums for higher education issues have seen lively discussion about how teachers should behave if students use a chatbot for assignments.

Used by students
Mikael Wiberg, professor of interaction design and informatics at Chalmers University of Technology and Umeå University, has received such assignments.

“As the use of this kind of AI tool is so new, we have no clearly defined approach or policy for how to handle it,” he says. “It’s not plagiarism, as people have been completely open about having used the tool. However, the rule that it needs to be their own work still applies. So it becomes important to describe the method and process, and to specify what parts of a text were generated by the chatbot.”

Mikael Wiberg.

One disciplinary matter so far
Recently, Universitetsläraren reported that the Disciplinary Committee at Uppsala University issued a warning to a student who admitted cheating using ChatGPT.

The Disciplinary Committee at Stockholm University has not dealt with any cases related to use of the chatbot. “In the event of cases where it could be proved that answers came from an AI bot, they would be treated as cases of ghostwriting,” says Vice-chancellor Astrid Söderbergh Widding.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding.

No such cases have reached the disciplinary committee at Malmö University yet either. However, some are in the pipeline according to the committee chair, Per Hillbur. “However, we have to accept that the students have access to this tool. The likelihood of us of being able to detect whether they are using a chatbot is small, which makes this an especially difficult issue for us.”

A fine line
In order to determine whether a student has cheated, the use of AI must be put in relation to the instructions for the assignment, says Hillbur. “If it says in the instructions that you are to create a text independently, you have not followed the instructions if you have used a chatbot.”

In cases where the student states that they have used a chatbot, it then becomes a fine line, he believes. “Such a case would be interesting. The student has not tried to hide their process. However, the teacher is free to fail the student for not having followed the instructions.”

Per Hillbur.

Not just cheating
But several people interviewed by Universitetsläraren emphasise ChatGPT is not just a tool that students can use to cheat. Several point out that the chatbot could be used in teaching. Mikael Wiberg takes a programming course as an example. Instead of the students using AI to help them write a number of lines of code, the teacher can do it. “Then you can let the students look at how the syntax is structured and let them discuss it. It saves time for the teacher if they can easily come up with new examples,” he says.

As the debate is rumbles on, Microsoft has announced that it will invest ten billion dollars in OpenAI. The company has already invested three billion since 2019.

Linus Hellerstedt


ChatGPT can be described as a combination of artificial intelligence and a chatbot. GPT stands for generative pretrained transformer, which is a type of machine learning technology used for text generation.


ChatGPT was developed by OpenAI, a company based in San Francisco in the United States. The development of the chatbot has been funded in part by Microsoft.

Universitetsläraren conforms strictly to journalistic principles and follows the media industry’s rules on publication and professional ethics. The magazine is free and independent of its owner, SULF – the Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers.
If you have tips on issues that you think we should write about, you are welcome to contact us at You can remain anonymous if you wish.