HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — As students return to school this year, many now face a new tool and temptation with artificial intelligence at their fingertips.

Schools nationwide, including in Connecticut, are trying to ensure students don’t use it to cheat. Quinnipiac University senior Julia Furlong said she has several friends who let AI do the work for them.

“So, they will like put it in, and they have the whole paper get generated for them and don’t have to do anything, and they all love it,” Furlong told News 8.

That cat and mouse game is happening at Quinnipiac and schools everywhere this fall. Faculty are trying to stay one step ahead of students armed with artificial intelligence.

ChatGPT is one of the main ways we can all access AI right now. If you haven’t seen it work, it’s pretty amazing. We typed, “Write a 1000-word essay on the history of New Haven.”

In seconds, a well-written essay appeared.

J.T. Torres, the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Quinnipiac University, called AI “A calculator for essays.”

He said AI is changing how many classes, especially writing, are being taught. AI is good at many things, but it can’t be personal.

Quinnipiac students now play an active role in choosing what they write about and ensuring the writing reflects who they are.

“I’m looking for human qualities in writing, whether that’s humor, whether that’s a personal narrative, whether that’s reflection, whether they are making connections with the content if that’s who they are, or where they grew up,” Torres said.

Claude Mayo, the director of academic integrity at Quinnipiac, is in charge of dealing with cheaters. He said the school has only seen a handful of AI cheating cases so far, and his office is teaching both faculty and students the good and the bad about AI. No student at QU has been expelled because of AI, he said.

“We have seen ChatGPT violations on campus, both cases that have been reported and been found responsible, as well as non-responsible, but we have not had any progress to that level,” Mayo said.

University faculty said it is teaching students that writing is thinking and that a shortcut now could cost them in the future.

“Let’s say you are writing a cover letter for a job you want, and if you are using the tool everybody else is using, and your cover letter looks like hundreds of other cover letters, you’re probably not getting the job you want,” Torres said.

Junior Dante Duteiu said he wouldn’t use AI for a writing assignment.

“I’m not the best writer, so I know if I’ve written something myself and tried to use it, it would be very different from what my teacher had seen before. It would be blatantly obvious,” he said.

“The skill is how to work with technology. How to think with technology, not against it, and we also can’t pretend it doesn’t exist,” Torres said.