Emory University student sues school for suspension over AI studying tool

An Emory University student is suing the university after he claims he was suspended for helping to create an artificial intelligence tool to help students study.

Ben Craver, who recently finished his junior year at Emory, said the school unfairly punished him and his friend because of their work on a program known as Eightball.

According to Eightball's website, the AI tool uses student's files, notes and lecture slides to create flashcards and practice exams.

In a lawsuit filed in May, Craver says that he and his friend presented the tool at the university's annual Pitch the Summit competition in 2023 and won the grand prize of $10,000 to continue its development.  

Around six months later, Emory's Honor Council concluded that Eightball violated the school's honor code when it connected to the school's Canvas servers - opening the possibility it could be used for cheating and potentially violating the school's IT policies.

After a hearing, Craver was suspended by Emory for the summer and fall 2024 semesters. While his co-founder was initially expelled, his discipline was reduced to a one-year suspension.

"To be clear, Ben never cheated, and Emory never alleged that he did. In fact, Emory concedes that there is no evidence that anyone has ever used Eightball to cheat," Craver's lawyers write in the lawsuit.

Craver claims that the suspension prevents him from participating in the honor's thesis program, will delay the start of his career, and "will forever cast undeserved doubt on [his] integrity."

He is seeking a jury trial along with $75,000 in damages.

Emory University has not commented on the lawsuit.