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WAEC reveals how it detected some WASSCE candidates used AI to answer questions

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The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has revealed how it identified candidates who utilized Artificial Intelligence (AI) to cheat during the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

In a release of provisional results on Monday, WAEC exposed instances of malpractice, including the use of AI, and implemented measures like withholding results and canceling outcomes of implicated students.

During an interview on Eyewitness News on Citi FM, WAEC’s Head of Public Affairs, John Kapi, explained the detection process. They identified candidates using AI-generated answers by observing peculiar responses.

For example, when faced with unfamiliar terms, some candidates received AI responses like ‘I’m not familiar with the term you have used,’ and they replicated this verbatim in their answer booklets. These instances served as clear indicators of AI usage, according to Kapi.

He acknowledged the evolving nature of cheating methods, mentioning past challenges involving mobile phones, snapshots, and pre-solved answer sheets.

However, the rise of AI as a cheating mechanism presents a novel and formidable challenge. To address this, WAEC is planning collaborative efforts with the Ghana Education Service (GES) to enforce stringent regulations on mobile phone usage in second-cycle institutions.

Kapi mentioned that they have monitored rogue websites publishing exam questions and investigated reports from national security, indicating that questions found online were likely shared after the exam had commenced. The suspicion is that these questions were disseminated after invigilators or candidates took snapshots and sought assistance online.

Regarding ongoing investigations into the use of mobile phones, AI, or intercepted questions, Kapi assured that WAEC is actively looking into the matter, and suspected culprits will be invited for a fair hearing. The collaboration with GES aims to establish stricter adherence to rules and discourage the adoption of advanced technologies for unfair advantages in academic assessments.

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