‘Entirely original’: Student commencement speaker replaced with ChatGPT

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In a not-so-surprising move, Duke has announced that it will be replacing its student commencement speaker with a pre-written speech provided by ChatGPT, a language model developed by OpenAI. 

The decision was made in light of last year’s Commencement plagiarism scandal, which rocked the University and left administrators scrambling for a solution.

"We wanted to make sure that there was no chance of soiling the University’s image," explained Duke President Vinny Cost. "By using ChatGPT, we can ensure that the speech is super incomprehensive but entirely original to protect the Duke nation."

The decision has been met with mixed reactions from students and faculty alike. Some have praised the move as a smart way to avoid any further scandal, while others have expressed disappointment at the lack of a human speaker.

"I think it's a shame that we won't have a student speaker this year," said senior Michaela Kinsey. "Commencement is supposed to be a celebration of our achievements, and having a pre-written speech read by a machine just doesn't feel very personal."

Kinsey will be moving to New York City next year, she said, for the small-town feel the city brings.

Despite the criticism, University officials are standing by their decision. 

"We understand that this may not be the most popular choice, but we believe it's the right one," said Provost Sandy Kornflake. "At least that’s what our crisis management firm, Blue Canyon, told us."

When asked about the choice to use ChatGPT specifically, Cost emphasized the technology's reliability and accuracy. 

"We did extensive research and testing before making this decision, and we are confident that ChatGPT will deliver a high-quality and engaging speech that will be a fitting tribute to our graduating class,” Cost said, referencing a survey of the Class of 2023 about common cheating methods used during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move has sparked debate among other universities, with some considering similar measures in the wake of the plagiarism scandal. Only time will tell if this new trend catches on, or if it will be seen as a one-time solution to a unique problem. But for now, Duke graduates can be rest assured that their commencement speech will be plagiarism-free, even if it is delivered by a machine.

Editor’s note: This article was written with the assistance of ChatGPT.

Another Editor's note: Happy April Fools' Day! In case you couldn't tell, this was a story for our satirical edition, The Chomicle. Check out more Chomicle stories here, guaranteed to make you laugh or your money back.


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