Universities face a new fraud threat as regulators prepare for a crackdown

“While instances of contract fraud increased systematically between 2018 and 2021, our ability to detect contract fraud through more sophisticated digital detection tools and techniques, including data analysis, also increased.”


Students have also started to transition from hiring people to writing their essays on using artificial intelligence.

Professor Phillip Dawson of Deakin University‘s Center for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning said while contract fraud is still a big problem, the rise of artificial intelligence isn’t getting enough attention.

“I really think there’s going to be a really big spike in the use of these tools within two months to a year because they’ve matured now,” he said.

“You give it the question or prompt you have and it produces the whole thing, including references.

“The very little research that has been done has shown that these things may not elicit excellent responses, but they can elicit passable responses.”

James Thorley, regional vice president of plagiarism detection service APAC Turnitin, agreed that fraud via AI is already going under the radar at a certain level.

“In a way, it’s a natural extension of contract fraud, except you cut out the middleman and ultimately the cost will be much, much lower or even free,” he said.

“We are very aware of this and are incorporating this into our future product lines, both in terms of how it can be used positively and in terms of misconduct

“We’re probably a few years away before it’s very widespread.”


Dawson said universities need to develop assessments that are still robust in the face of new artificial intelligence tools like GPT-3.

“Because I don’t know if we’ll be able to recognize AI-produced content forever,” he said.

The Morning Edition Newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.

Comments are closed.