There’s stupidity, and then there’s ignorance. A lot of time they can overlap, but what LSU gymnast and influencer Olivia Dunne did when she promoted Caktus AI as a homework tool was flat-out stupid. Even if it’s a new technology, and not officially banned, anybody with an iota of common sense knows that having AI do your homework raises massive ethical red flags.
To be fair, though, there’s no evidence that Dunne used Caktus AI for an essay. She just posted a TikTok featuring the caption “Need to get my creativity flowing for my essay due at midnight” and touting Caktus AI as “>” than ChatGPT.
As a writer (blogger?), I find this personally offensive because AI threatens the future of my job/industry, and asking a program to regurgitate internet sludge is tremendously lame. Bullshitting was the easiest thing to do out of any of my college homework, and it’s like 75 percent of the reason why I’m the writer that I am today (for better or for worse). I once BS’d an entire research paper, got a D+ on it, and then got that bumped up to a C after my submission was the only one that prompted any discussion. Homie had to stop my presentation because people were so infatuated that there wouldn’t have been enough time for the rest of the class to go.
It’s among my crowning achievements in my time at the University of Nebraska at Omaha next to penning a creative nonfiction essay/rant that the professor dubbed a progressive critique of the medium. So, yeah, I think every student could use an intro to bullshitting because it’s a real-world skill.
But enough about that. Back to Dunne.
LSU releases statement about using AI for homework
Dunne’s 10-second reel was enough for LSU to issue a statement about AI (via The Advocate).
“At LSU, our professors and students are empowered to use technology for learning and pursuing the highest standards of academic integrity. However, using AI to produce work that a student then represents as one’s own could result in a charge of academic misconduct, as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.”
Even though the school didn’t single her out by name, their timing was hardly a coincidence. Dunne is likely the most popular athlete at LSU, with more than 10 million followers between TikTok and Instagram. She’s inspired hordes of fans due to Louisianans’ obsession with gymnastics and men’s obsession with blondes. (If you were looking for a dumb blonde joke, think again. That’s lazy and offensive — so a perfect use of ChatGPT.)
Of course, the university is going to avoid anything that would jeopardize the eligibility of someone who makes them gobs of revenue, and Dunne basically mints money for them. If college athletics wasn’t a cesspool of immoral quandaries, an investigation would already have been opened.
Anybody who watched the John Oliver segment on AI knows how normalized the burgeoning tech is among high school and college students, and Dunne’s post was a perfect example of someone doing exactly that. In my experience, teachers appreciate an honest bullshitter over a dishonest honor roll student any day, and if Livvy didn’t want to write her term paper, she could’ve at least paid (or just asked) some nerd to write it for her like people (not me) used to do in the late aughts.