Over the years, academic integrity has been supported and tested by technology. Today, educators are facing a new frontier with AI writing and ChatGPT.

In the age of generative AI, how do educators analyze and review the authenticity of their students’ academic work?

Solutions such as Turnitin, a provider of academic integrity solutions globally, are activating new AI writing detection capabilities. Turning on this new capability in the existing Turnitin workflow, educators can now have 98% confidence to know when and where AI and AI writing tools have been used by students.

Amid the proliferation of current highly advanced AI tools like ChatGPT in the classroom, the lack of such tools may potentially impede accurate assessments of academic submissions by students.

Other popular solutions include Originality AI, Writer, GLTR and Copyleaks. Search Engine Land recently reviewed the top 16.

According to James Thorley, Regional Vice President, Turnitin Asia Pacific, academics, educators and university administrators in Southeast Asia have been keenly aware of the potential impact of AI tools like ChatGPT in the region.

“Educators in the country recognize the impact AI tools may have on the quality of students’ work and the learning experience. However, while the community recognizes that AI tools can also be a force for good, a heavy dependence on technology can stunt critical thinking and academic integrity which are core values for societal development,” explained Thorley.

Of course, AI writing detection tools can also help students and other content creators in other ways:

    • Prevent plagiarism: Many of these tools have plagiarism detection built in, so students and writers can check whether generative AI content was largely pulled from another source before they submit their work.
    • Audit AI usage: Such tools can also be used by organizations that commission writers to create content for them, especially in working out policies for compensating these writers for original versus AI-generated content.
    • Prevent SEO penalties: Many organizations concerned about AI content on their sites being devalued somehow in search results can use these tools to gain some sense of how easily detectable the AI content is.
    • Understand search results: Some of these tools offer Chrome extensions, which can help you understand whether competitors and other websites use AI content or not.

Turning it in

Turnitin began working on detection capabilities for GPT3, the underlying technology on which many AI writing applications are based, nearly two years prior to the release of ChatGPT.

Built to help educators and academic institutions identify AI-generated text in student-written submissions, Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities are integrated into existing Turnitin systems and accessible through learning management systems, so no additional steps are needed for current Turnitin educator users to access.

Over 10,700 institutions and more than 2.1 million educators will be able to quickly and easily evaluate a submission for the presence of AI-generated text and provide feedback to students in their current Turnitin workflows.

Turnitin’s AI detector provides an evaluative measure of how many sentences in a written submission may have been generated by AI, which educators can use to determine if further review, inquiry or discussion with the student is needed.

These writing detection capabilities are available within existing products and solutions, including: Turnitin Feedback Studio (TFS), TFS with Originality, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity, Simcheck, Originality Check and Originality Check+.

“Educators told us that being able to accurately detect AI written text is their first priority right now. They need to be able to detect AI with very high certainty to assess the authenticity of a student’s work and determine how to best engage with them,” said Turnitin CEO, Chris Caren. “It is equally important that detection technology becomes a seamless part of their existing workflow, which we have done by integrating AI detection capabilities into Turnitin solutions.”