Almost as quickly as ChatGPT caught the imagination of the tech world, alarm bells started going off about what a powerful AI chatbot could mean for academia.
Following a few rough pandemic years that upended how schools teach, professors are now grappling with how to identify and stop AI-written assignments from being turned in. .
Academic integrity is something that Chirag Tailor has been thinking about long before the rise of ChatGPT. While pursuing his computer science graduate degree at Georgia Tech, he dove into the role of artificial intelligence in academic spaces. As MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and remote-first courses took off, there was more of a need for education technology tools to help professors deliver the best curriculum to an online student body. Part of that is ensuring professors are keeping track of copyrighted material that is floating around the internet.
Born out of the Georgia Tech lab he worked in, Tailor officially launched AssignGuard in 2021 as a copyright content management system.
The AI platform is designed to “crawl popular file sharing websites online to look for copyright course content,” Tailor told Hypepotamus. “This could be either exams, assessments, or anything that is a potential academic integrity violation that are available online…professors are usually concerned about it, but they don’t have the time or the resources to do anything about it.”
Professors and users are then given templates for how to proceed regarding any potential DMCA (the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) violations. That can save professors hours a week and has already been tested at universities in the US and Australia.
Combating AI Plagiarism
This week, the team revealed SpyGlass™, an AI content detector designed with academia in mind.
SpyGlass is designed to be a “time saving” tool for professors. Tailor said it “allows instructors to analyze texts and essay submissions for potential AI content.”
The AssignGuard team is rolling out SpyGlass as the academic world continues to react to ChatGPT and its implications for writing assignments.
This is ultimately an expansion to AssignGuard’s overall goal and core product, which focuses on a “proactive approach to cleaning up your copyrighted content online,” he added. “It’s hard to plagiarize online content if there isn’t any online content to plagiarize from.”
Building In Atlanta
Tailor met his co-founder, Anthony Agnone, while they were both working as engineers at the Atlanta-based cybersecurity and information security company Pindrop. Many of the early team members, including Tailor and Agnone, also worked as teaching assistants during their academic careers. That gave them first-hand experience into what the academic integrity process really looks like on campuses.
“We’re trying to build a team of not only tech professionals, but also people that understand what it’s like behind the teacher’s desk,” he added.
As an edTech-focused AI company , Tailor said he is also focused on plugging into Atlanta’s university ecosystem. The Metro area itself is home to dozens of institutes of higher education, including several in the University System of Georgia, Emory, Morehouse, Spelman, and Agnes Scott.
The city is also home to a growing number of education-focused startups focused on changing the way schools teach and people learn. That includes TARA, a SaaS solution for teachers, Lingo Plaza, a bilingual teaching platform, and Moonrise, a co-learning space for kids.
Featured Photo by Nick Morrison