Students struggling with assignments or striving to excel have long looked for tools to assist them. New technology, from search engines to grammar checkers, have changed the way in which their work is produced and assessed. The arrival of ChatGPT, a groundbreaking artificial intelligence (AI) tool, has sparked a storm among educators around the world since its launch in November. It is already disrupting the sector. The powerful chat bot was created by OpenAI in the US. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft – a key investor in the company – says it will change the world. It has wide and far-reaching potential. But the immediate concern for educational institutions is simple. They fear it will make it easy for students to cheat. Four Hong Kong universities have issued guidance on the use of ChatGPT and other AI tools. The University of Hong Kong has imposed a temporary ban on students using them for coursework, assessments or in class without written permission, until it has devised a longer-term strategy. Students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have been warned they could face disciplinary action if using AI tools improperly or without authorisation. Baptist University reminded students they would commit plagiarism if taking words or ideas from other sources, including AI tools. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology said it intended to embrace such technology, but stressed the importance of academic integrity. It reminded students that traditional academic principles applied to the use of AI. Different approaches, ranging from adopting the technology to banning it or returning to pen and paper exams, have been taken around the world. It is easy to understand why a chat bot which can quickly generate sophisticated, nuanced text on a wide range of issues, including essays, poetry and computer coding, would set alarm bells ringing among those who set and mark assignments. But the imposition of restrictions on the fast-developing technology will ultimately prove futile. Ways must be found to maximise its potential for teaching and learning, while guarding against abuse. The technology can be used as a useful reference point for students, to help them generate ideas. It is not always accurate, so will require fact-checking. Institutions will need to adapt their assessment criteria, accepting the availability of AI tools. The students who use them ethically and show creative thinking in their work are the ones that will be rewarded. Academic integrity must be maintained. ChatGPT, AI tools could get students expelled from Chinese University of Hong Kong It will take time for educators to adapt as the technology develops, but AI needs to be embraced. As the guidelines issued by the Chinese University of Hong Kong say, it should be a research tool, not a cheating tool, used by students to “think with us, not for us”.