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Mmmm. AI "You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means"

These students figured out their tests were graded by AI — and the easy way to cheat

On Monday, Dana Simmons came downstairs to find her 12-year-old son, Lazare, in tears. He’d completed the first assignment for his seventh-grade history class on Edgenuity, an online platform for virtual learning. He’d received a 50 out of 100. That wasn’t on a practice test — it was his real grade.
“He was like, I’m gonna have to get a 100 on all the rest of this to make up for this,” said Simmons in a phone interview with The Verge. “He was totally dejected.”
At first, Simmons tried to console her son. “I was like well, you know, some teachers grade really harshly at the beginning,” said Simmons, who is a history professor herself. Then, Lazare clarified that he’d received his grade less than a second after submitting his answers. A teacher couldn’t have read his response in that time, Simmons knew — her son was being graded by an algorithm.
Simmons watched Lazare complete more assignments. She looked at the correct answers, which Edgenuity revealed at the end. She surmised that Edgenuity’s AI was scanning for specific keywords that it expected to see in students’ answers. And she decided to game it.
Now, for every short-answer question, Lazare writes two long sentences followed by a disjointed list of keywords — anything that seems relevant to the question. “The questions are things like... ‘What was the advantage of Constantinople’s location for the power of the Byzantine empire,’” Simmons says. “So you go through, okay, what are the possible keywords that are associated with this? Wealth, caravan, ship, India, China, Middle East, he just threw all of those words in.”
“I wanted to game it because I felt like it was an easy way to get a good grade,” Lazare told The Verge. He usually digs the keywords out of the article or video the question is based on.
Apparently, that “word salad” is enough to get a perfect grade on any short-answer question in an Edgenuity test.
#AI #education #hanginthere
I don't think providing adequate responses to a software system created to serve a society (United States) which only values its children's lives in terms of profit, wealth, race, and gender is cheating.
Cass M diaspora
me neither.
poet1b diaspora
Sounds like crap software to me. The problem with grading essays is that there are always the biased of the grader.
You may be surprised to know a lot of companies now use the same system to score your CV, to see if it is worth being read by a human being.
@Piero F Not in the least.
poet1b diaspora
Great! Now I have to create a CV and fill it with buzz words.
One guy did that with a CV, added some skills in non existent technology /language and got an email from a Google recruiter like we find your skills in xyz a good thing.

The same happens if you add skills in Cisco ios, you will get a lot of recruiter contact about developing apps for Apple ios
You could try "although I don't know anything about Java, JavaScript, C, C++, SQL, MySQL, MongoDB, AWS, Serverless, DevOps, CI/CD and I lack in punctuality and have no team work skills I think I would be a great asset for your company"
@Piero F Heh. Yea. Some days I really feel like that. Unfortunately, all the alphabet soup on my resume reference things I've actually used or used and forgotten but can get up to speed with a quick refresher.