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Brightspace Tip #381: Turnitin – AI Writing Detector

computer artificial intelligence

If you have been following the news lately, you have heard a lot about generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs like ChatGPT. The advancements in AI writing technology have created a sense of unease among educators, who fear that students may use AI writing tools to plagiarize their work.

Last week Turnitin announced the launch of AI writing detection capabilities in Turnitin Feedback Studio. Turnitin stated that their technology is capable of identifying both AI-generated and AI-assisted writing, including ChatGPT.

An AI writing indicator has been added to Turnitin Feedback Studio. This indicator shows possible AI-generated content. Students will not be able to see the AI writing detection indicator.

AI writing detection indicator
AI writing detection indicator
Example of AI Writing Detection report
Example of AI Writing Detection report

If you intend to use the Turnitin AI Writing Detector, it is important that you understand the results may NOT be reliable.

A Washington Post article, by Geoffrey A. Fowler, reported that Turnitin’s ChatGPT detector flagged an innocent student.

Tools that use artificial intelligence are developing rapidly. False positives are not just a possibility, but an inevitability. Consequently, Turnitin’s AI Writing Detector tool cannot be fairly used as a way to assess whether a student’s work may have been written by an AI tool. We strongly recommend that you use this functionality as a guideline, not a grading metric. The results should not be used as the sole basis for adverse actions against a student. Treat any flags the tool may raise as a reason to review the student’s work further.

Bart Everson and Elizabeth Yost Hammer led an "AI²: Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity" workshop recently. ICYMI, you can find the workshop recording and resources referenced in the workshop on our wiki.

Want more information?

Brightspace Tip #276: Turnitin Feedback Studio
Turnitin AI Writing Detection
Turnitin AI Writing Detection FAQs
Guide for Approaching AI-generated text in the classroom
AI Misuse Rubric
AI Misuse Checklist
Brightspace Tip #277: Turnitin - Quick Submit

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