24 August 2023

What happens when you ask AI if it can write a better university assignment than students? You'll be surprised by the answer!

24 August 2023

Each day we find ourselves immersed ever deeper in the age of artificial intelligence.

And as exam results are dropping and students confirm their university places, one key question keeps popping up - could AI ever out-perform a human when it comes to composing a university assignment? Regarded as a new frontier, academic prowess automated through machine learning algorithms and neural networks suggests an intriguing challenge to the traditional human supremacy in the academic field.

To answer, first we need to consider what constitutes a 'better' university assignment. Clarity, quality of insight, fluidity in making a persuasive argument, knowledge depth, and innovative thinking all play pivotal roles.

Artificial Intelligence, with its uncanny ability to dissect vast data troves and draw connections amongst them, has the potential to raise the bar for knowledge depth and accuracy. AI is often fearless in processing theoretical models, complicated formulas or lengthy research papers, with the potential to cross-reference across countless sources at rapid speed.

Modern AI platforms can analyse data and condense it into digestible summaries, potentially presenting arguments with a degree of clarity and succinctness that may be challenging for some students to maintain.

AI also doesn't tire, wilt under stress, or get distracted - offering a reliability that is both admirable and threatening. And yet, one crucial element makes a quantifiable comparison a more daunting task: the human factor.

Artificial intelligence, in its current state, lacks human creativity and spontaneity - the very essence that makes university assignments unique and innovative. In academic writing, it's not just about repeating what's already known, but about building upon it, sometimes challenging it, and often driving the narrative forward in a new direction. AI still struggles with this.

AI is a tool built on an algorithm, a set of rules to be followed. However, academic pursuits and particularly university assignments often require 'breaking the rules.' They beckon a certain level of thinking or insight which cannot always be programmed. Opinions, values, beliefs, ethics, philosophy – these bring the depth, the flavour to an assignment; these shape the uniqueness of each individual's work. Arguably, these are areas where AI is still trying to catch up with the human intellect.

Therefore, AI could certainly craft a competent, perhaps even impressively researched and referenced university assignment. However, it is the creative and innovative element, where experience, intuition, and individuality play significant roles, the 'human touch', where AI is yet to excel.

But, let's not forget, AI is a rapidly advancing field, with capabilities increasing every year. There is no denying that AI is closing the gap and offers some fascinating capabilities, particularly when harnessed as a tool to assist rather than replace students. While AI may not be ready to outperform a human in crafting university assignments today, the future landscape remains an open book, that we are yet to fully read.

In conclusion, the present answer to the ongoing debate of whether AI can write a better university assignment than a student arguably falls in favour of humans. Despite AI's breathtaking strides in data processing and analysis, human creativity and original thought still hold the crown in the realm of academia. The realm of AI's conquest still has boundaries. But make no mistake, these boundaries are not fixed, they are manifold and may shift as we advance further into the ever-evolving world of Artificial Intelligence.

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