Use of AI-based applications
Tampere University welcomes the use of AI-based applications and language models (eg ChatGPT) in research and teaching. The potential of new technologies is typically overestimated in the short term and underestimated in the long term. As AI systems are constantly evolving tools that will be used in working life in the future, it is important for both teachers and students to be familiar with the use of ChatGPT and similar AI applications.
GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) and other AI-based text editors or text generators – so-called large language models – are interactive AI applications that generate text based on a user’s prompts. AI can be asked questions and it can be prompted, for example, to formulate a given text or solution in a more concise and better way (eg a programming code). The use of language models is already widely discussed because of the versatile opportunities they offer. Language models are a new technology and there is much to be learned from their use.
Tampere University recommends the following about the use of language models:
- As a rule, the use of language models is allowed. Language models are a tool that students will need in their future jobs, which makes learning to use them beneficial. Forbidding the use of language models is not practical because a denial would be impossible or hard to control. However, students are not expected to use external online services that require registering as a user.
- Teachers should estimate whether the possible use of a language model has created a need to develop the current way of assessing learning outcomes.
- Since the use of language models cannot be controlled in remote modes of study, it is advisable that students’ performance is assessed using completion methods that test applied knowledge in some way.
- Assignments can be tested by feeding them into a language model and seeing whether it can produce a clearly acceptable answer.
- If updating assignments is not sufficient, discuss changing the completion method with the Education Specialist of your degree programme.
- The preferred option for home essays or exams etc. is the TUNI EXAM system where a centrally invigilated examination or another electronic demonstration of learning can be implemented.
- If a student uses a language model in an assignment or a thesis, for example, as part of language editing, this must always be mentioned. When individual students describe their use of language models, we can share good practices. The use of a language model for language revision is justified, for example, to produce a grammatically or structurally fluent text (cf. proofreading and translation tools and similar tools).
- Students are always responsible for the content of the texts they submit for assessment. While writing this text, the major challenge related to language models is that they can produce texts that look very competent on the surface, but contain factual errors or even contradictions.
In maturity tests, the use of AI applications is not allowed
In accordance with sections 6 and 10 of the Degree Decree, the student demonstrates familiarity with the field of the thesis and proficiency in Finnish or Swedish with the maturity test. The maturity test is taken by writing a thesis abstract.
The University of Tampere states that the use of AI applications as a maturity test in writing a summary is not permitted from 19.4.2023. The policy applies to both bachelor's and master's degrees. If an AI application (eg. ChatGPT) has been used as an aid in the preparation of the thesis, the student must indicate in the thesis which application or model has been used and in what way.
If an AI application has been used in the preparation of the summary of a thesis returned before 19.4.2023, it must be mentioned in the summary in accordance with the previous instructions.
This guideline will be updated and refined based on experiences gained during 2023.