Japanese student book report contest flags, drops entries written with AI

NHK has learned that the organizer of a Japanese book report contest for students has excluded at least 10 entries for containing sentences generated with artificial intelligence.

The contest was started over half a century ago, with entries submitted through elementary to senior high schools nationwide.

The organizer, Japan School Library Association, said there were about 2.6 million entries this academic year.

Association officials said they identified multiple works that apparently had not been written by the entrants themselves. The officials said that among them were at least 10 that the entrants admitted using generative AI to write.

In dropping those entries, the association noted that its application guidelines stipulate that the works should not contain plagiarized material or other improper citations.

Generative AI is expected to have an impact on education. It can be used for proofreading, sharpening ideas, and other purposes.

The association said that it believes only a small number of people are improperly using the technology.

The association said it plans to consider how AI can be used in tandem with the principle that students write book reports in their own words.