Teachers and professors have long had an eye out for plagiarism by their students. With the release of ChatGPT in November 2022, however, additional worries have arisen. How can you figure out what’s the work of a student and what’s the work of AI? ChatGPT has shown its ability to write essays with minimal student involvement, and its use can hinder students’ chances of developing good writing and thinking skills.
When professors took AI detection into their own hands, they sometimes ran into trouble. In May 2023, a professor at Texas A&M University ran several of his student’s essays through ChatGPT to see if the AI tool had been used in creating the essays. ChatGPT targeted several essays as AI-written — but it was wrong. The AI tool isn’t very good at detecting its own work. Students could prove they had written their own essays, and they all passed the class.
Fortunately, you can now access a plethora of AI detectors to help with AI detection. With the help of these handy tools, teachers and professors can check student work quickly and get back to teaching the skills that students are in school to learn. Look at some of the top AI content detectors.
This top-notch AI detection tool uses sophisticated algorithms to determine whether essays and other written content were written by humans or by ChatGPT, Jasper, Claude, or other AI tools. A study from Cornell University points to CopyLeaks as one of the most successful at correctly pinpointing AI-assembled content, and the tool itself claims 99.1% accuracy. It even claims it can spot content that’s been rephrased or “spun” after initially being created by AI.
The tool supports content in French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and about 10 other languages, in addition to English. It’s easy to use, requiring just copying and pasting the content in question, and delivering results in seconds. While the free version of CopyLeaks allows checking about 250,000 scanned words, a monthly subscription is available — and the paid version also includes an AI plagiarism checker.
Designed for educators, Winston AI is an AI-powered tool that detects whether a document was written by a human with 99.6% accuracy. It features Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tech that allows it to read handwriting, making it a good choice for younger students’ work or handwritten “blue book” essay tests.
While it only operates in English and French, Winston AI generates individualized reports that teachers can hand to students to explain why they’re being flagged for using AI. The paid version of the software delivers a human score, stating the likelihood that AI was used, a plagiarism detector and a grade-level readability score, which can help you dig further if a fifth grader suddenly starts turning in college-level work.
Content at Scale is an AI tool that generates AI-written blog posts, and its corresponding AI detector can pinpoint AI-generated content with 98.3% accuracy. The tool supports content in multiple languages. However, you can only input 25,000 characters at a time, making it useful as an AI essay detector but not as helpful for longer content.
In addition, Content at Scale doesn’t include a plagiarism detector, and it’s unable to scan content. Many users don’t mind those limitations, though, because Content at Scale is free, making it of value to educators whose school districts or universities don’t cover the cost of the tool.
Designed specifically as a ChatGPT detector, GPTZero is trained to focus on textual complexity, sentence length and variation. The tool focuses on English, analyzing potential AI influence at the sentence, paragraph, and document levels, delivering 98% accuracy. Rather than producing a number expressing the likelihood that a piece was generated by AI, GPTZero interprets its results.
Its spinoff, GPTZeroX, is designed for educators. This paid version of the software allows batch inputs, so a teacher or professor can upload the files from an entire class at once. GPTZeroX is also significantly faster than the free version of the tool. It doesn’t include a plagiarism detector, however.
Passed.AI is an adapted version of the Originality AI detector, which is designed for content marketers. Passed.AI is geared toward teachers. It’s been trained on GPT-J, GPT-NEO, GPT-3, and GPT-4, and it comes with a Chrome extension for checking documents within Google Drive without downloading. That feature also lets you see a Google doc history that shows how each document was written, so you have extra insight into your students’ workflow.
Passed.AI delivers a percentage prediction on the likelihood that AI was used to generate a given text, with that Chrome extension providing verification. It’s easy to use, available on a subscription model, and comes with a plagiarism detector.
Thousands of teachers and professors are already familiar with TurnItIn, thanks to the software’s well-known plagiarism detector tools, and students across the country have become accustomed to turning in their work via TurnItIn. It’s no surprise that TurnItIn has devised an AI writing detector. This tool is only available to educational institutions, so your school or university will have to subscribe for you to use it. Students can only access the tool to deliver work and can’t use it on its own.
TurnItIn works hand-in-hand with other TurnItIn products, delivering results for all together. It breaks down each document into smaller segments, ranking each section on a scale from human- to AI-generated. TurnItIn’s AI detector delivers 98% accuracy.
With a 98% accuracy score, AI Detector Pro works not just on ChatGPT versions but also on content generated by Bard, the Google AI tool. It delivers clear reports that highlight which sections of a document relied on AI in their creation. Educators appreciate the “AI Eraser” feature, which lets users make changes to AI-generated sections and provide feedback.
AI Detector Pro only works in English, and its free version allows just three reports before you have to upgrade. It’s able to assess website content in addition to content uploaded to the tool, but it doesn’t have a plagiarism detector.
When students turn to AI to do their coursework, they only harm themselves and hinder their education. Using AI detectors can help students realize that turning to ChatGPT and other AI writing tools to do their work is a waste of time. By treating AI work as you would likely treat plagiarized work, you open the door to helping students learn how to articulate their ideas clearly and develop valuable writing skills.
To read more helpful tips for ChatGPT, check out our ChatGPT for Teachers Guide.