Is Use of Grammarly is Considered AI Cheating?

Grammarly is one of the most popular apps used by professional or amateur writers, including students around the globe, to check and correct their writing for errors. More than 30 million users use Grammarly on a daily basis because it’s easy to use and helps them fix spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

According to a recent USA Today report, a professor put a University of North Georgia student on academic probation for using Grammarly in her criminal justice essay. The student, Marley Stevens, reportedly received zero for the assignment.

In a story that’s gone viral, University of North Georgia student Marley Stevens ended up on academic probation for using Grammarly on her criminal justice essay. Stevens said her professor accused her of “unintentionally cheating” on her academic work because she used the program to proofread her paper.

– USA Today, April 17, 2024

The USA Today story, says “Stevens’ case shows the murkier world of using artificial intelligence in schools – using it as an aid, a resource, rather than a replacement for one’s work. Until now, discussions of AI’s use in academics focused on its potential for plagiarism, the act of simply representing an AI product as one’s own work, which is admittedly indefensible.”

Based the story, the use of AI and other writing assistants apps depends upon the school policy. For example, researchers from Stanford University think the story that the concern was overblown, where as at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, the use of generative AI is prohibited.

William Tang, a high school junior at Deerfield Academy, who wrote the USA Today OpEd, says “Whether using Grammarly constitutes cheating is a multibillion dollar question that remains unanswered; it’s an ethical question that intersects with school finance. Use of Grammarly might cause students to lose scholarships, and schools don’t refund tuition if a student is expelled and that student may owe student loans. On top of that are the opportunity costs of being accused of cheating.”