Commentary: Supervising projects where use of AI is not allowed

Jens Tofteskov

Note that this is solely an expression of Jens’ subjective opinions, and the following is a commentary on how to work with supervision and AI.

Students are not allowed to use AI in ex first and second year projects unless the studyboard has announced it as legal.

This may pose some challenges for supervisors. We must expect that the vast majority of our students use AI for various purposes in their daily lives. It is therefore reasonable to imagine that this usage does not suddenly cease when students write their first-year projects. But how should we control it? And should we, as supervisors, spend our time controlling it?

When we talk to students about AI, we can hardly discuss anything other than the fact that it’s prohibited to use AI. We cannot discuss with them all the details outlined in the regulations for the use of AI in bachelor’s and master’s theses – where it is allowed.

Otherwise, it would be reasonable to discuss all these things with them:

  • Align expectations with student(s) on how generative AI-tools will be used in their project
  • Encourage a balance between AI-assistance and other types of resources
  • Promote a critical evaluation of any AI-generated content
  • Guide the students on how to include a declaration of AI use in the Methodology section and on proper citation of AI-generated text. CBS Library Libguides on Generative Artificial Intelligence show how to declare the use of GenAI in final assignments at CBS.
  • Address ethical concerns and academic integrity related to the use of GenAI in the context of the project. This includes issues around data privacy, bias, and the potential for AI-generated content to be inaccurate or misleading.
  • Make students aware of potential limitations in AI-generated content and discuss how these can be addressed throughout the project.

All these topics can be very important to discuss with students as early as their first year because students will encounter both ethical and moral challenges in the use of AI throughout their academic and professional lives.

So, what should a supervisor do?

If one wants to avoid problems, the best advice is to inform students that the use of AI is prohibited and otherwise refrain from discussing this topic unless there is evidence that students have used AI. Accusing students of using AI based solely on presumption leads nowhere and only creates a poor relationship with the students.

Ida Marie Malmkjær
Ida Marie Malmkjær
Articles: 2