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Who writes better essays: College students or GPT-3?

The GPT-3 text generator has proven adept at producing code, blogs, and, err, bigotry. But is the AI a good student?

Education resource site EduRef has tried to find out — by testing the system’s essay-writing skills.

The company hired a panel of professors to create writing prompts for essays on US history, research methods, creative writing, and law.

They fed the prompts to GPT-3, and also gave them to a group of recent college graduates and undergrad students.

The anonymized papers were then marked by the panel, to test whether AI can get better grades than human pupils.

Some of the results could unnerve professors — and excite unscrupulous students. But others showed GPT-3 still has a lot to learn.

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GPT-3’s highest grades were B-minuses for a history essay on American exceptionalism and a policy memo for a law class.

Its human rivals earned similar marks for their history papers: a B and a C+. But only one of three students got a higher grade than the AI for the law assignment.

GPT-3 also received a solid C for its research methods paper on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy, while the students got a B and a D.

However, the AI’s creative writing abilities couldn’t match its technical skills. Its story received the model’s solitary fail, while the student writers’ grades ranged from A to D+.

Credit: EduRef