Japan Data

Half of Japanese University Students Have Used Generative AI

Society Education Technology

A survey of university students in Japan found that around half had used ChatGPT or other similar forms of generative AI, with the most popular reason being as reference for writing papers or reports.

A survey looking at student lifestyles, conducted by the National Federation of University Co-operative Associations revealed that half of university students in Japan have used ChatGPT or other similar forms of generative AI. Overall, approximately 30% used it on a regular basis.

According to the survey, 28.9% were “using it on a regular basis” and 17.8% “have used it, but not using it now,” meaning in total 46.7% had experience using generative AI. With a further 28.2% saying they had “not used it, but want to in the future,” it indicated that usage is likely to continue expanding from now on.

AI Text Generator Usage by University Students in Japan

Asked about their purpose for using generative AI, with multiple responses possible, the top three reasons were “reference for writing papers/reports” (22.1%), “translation/foreign language composition” (12.1%), and “for advice/as a chat partner” (11%).

Purpose for Using AI Text Generators

The survey was conducted online in October and November 2023, targeting undergraduate students at 31 national, public, and private universities in Japan, and received responses from 9,873 people. While this was the fifty-ninth such survey, it was the first time that respondents had been asked about their use of generative AI.

In July 2023, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology said that submission of reports that used unedited AI generated output “does not lead to the deepening of students’ own understanding” and “may potentially be unintentional theft,” requesting that universities develop rules for use of AI.

Already in May last year, Ōta Kunihiro, executive vice president at the University of Tokyo, had spoken for the institution, saying “it is not acceptable to use sentences that have been created using generative AI tools as your own work when submitting course assignments.” Prior to that, in March, Sophia University had also made its policy clear, letting faculty and students know “its use is not approved. Strict action will be taken if its use is confirmed. However, if approval is given by a teacher, it may be used within the scope of such approval.”

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: The ChatGPT and OpenAI logos. © Reuters.)

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