Clever Student Has AI Write Their Homework by Hand

TikTokker 3d_printer_stuff developed a clever way to avoid homework assignments calling for handwritten essays.

Teachers aren't stupid and they know that some students will do whatever they can to get out of homework. After computers became commonplace, many teachers started requiring that students write out their homework by hand to prevent them from simply printing an essay they found online. That's even more important now that AI writers can churn out pretty decent content based on short prompts. But teachers can never keep up with the really clever students who are willing to expend a lot of effort to avoid homework, as demonstrated by TikTokker 3d_printer_stuff's use of AI and a 3D printer to produce "handwritten" homework.

ChatGPT and several other AI writing models can churn out well-written content that does a pretty good job of covering surface-level topics, such as book reports and basic essays. All a student has to do is enter the prompt they're given for their homework assignment, and ChatGPT can take care of the rest. The best way that teachers can combat that is by requiring digital submissions that they can run through AI writing detection services, which can determine if a written sample was likely written by an AI. But many teachers aren't up to date on the latest in cheating technology and require handwritten submissions, which led 3d_printer_stuff to this solution.

First, they used ChatGPT to generate their homework assignment essay. Next, they needed that written on paper. They could have simply copied the text onto paper themselves, of course. But that would require work, which was what they were trying to avoid. So instead, they turned their 3D printer into a pen plotter. That is easy to do by attaching a pen to the 3D printer near the hot end. As long as the printer knows the Z height of the pen's tip, it can work just like a standard pen plotter. After completing that, the only thing left for 3d_printer_stuff to do was generate the g-code. For that, they used the free online service, which can produce fairly convincing script.

Eagle-eyed teachers will notice that the "handwritten" text is a little too consistent to be legitimate. But even the most observant teachers are overworked and tired, so this could pass muster. The ultimate solution would be to use AI to introduce variations into the script that mimic those we would expect to see in real handwritten text. Hopefully 3d_printer_stuff will implement such a solution before they get caught cheating.

Cameron Coward
Writer for Hackster News. Maker, retrocomputing and 3D printing enthusiast, author of books, dog dad, motorcyclist, and nature lover.
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