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How to detect AI-generated work

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The rise of GPT-generated plagiarism

The introduction of ChatGPT has led to widespread and quick adoption among students. As with other technological transitions, the process is rocky and it will take time for teachers and students to adapt. Here's what teachers can do to identify the misuse of AI by their students, and encourage more fruitful collaborations with GPT to help students learn better.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, particularly Large Language Models (LLMs) like GPT, are revolutionizing the ways we work and learn. These tools offer teachers immense opportunities for reducing administrative tasks and planning interactive classroom experiences. However, they also present challenges, especially when students use these tools to generate content for their papers or exams. As an educator, it is essential to maintain academic integrity by detecting AI-generated text in student submissions. This post offers a comprehensive guide on how to identify AI-generated content and ensure students are held accountable for their work.

Familiarize Yourself with AI Writing Patterns

AI-generated text has distinct characteristics that can help you identify it. Some common patterns include:

Overuse of certain phrases: AI-generated text often uses repetitive phrases or overuses certain words, leading to an unnatural flow. Lack of specificity or depth: AI-generated text may lack specific details, focus on generalities, or exhibit shallow analysis. Incoherent or irrelevant content: AI-generated content may sometimes include unrelated or nonsensical information, even if it is grammatically correct.

Employ Critical Thinking and Fact-Checking

Always assess the credibility of claims made in student papers or exams. AI-generated content may include inaccuracies or factual errors. By fact-checking and scrutinizing the sources provided, you can gauge the authenticity of the content.

Encourage Students to Use AI Ethically

One of the most effective ways to ensure academic integrity is to promote an ethical approach to AI use. Encourage students to use AI tools as a supplement to their learning and not as a substitute for their own work. Set clear expectations and establish a code of conduct for using AI in the classroom.

Implement AI Detection Solutions

In our opinion, plagiarism detection is useful, but should not be the starting point. Instead, think of alternative ways of writing and conducting assesments where possible. For more on this, see [ Alternatives to AI detection software ].

As AI-generated content becomes more prevalent, there are emerging tools specifically designed to detect such content. These tools analyze writing patterns, syntax, and other linguistic features to identify AI-generated text:

  • GLTR (Giant Language Model Test Room): This tool analyzes the likelihood of each word in a text sequence, highlighting those that are more likely to have been generated by an AI.
  • OpenAI's API: OpenAI offers an API that can be used to create custom solutions for detecting AI-generated content.

Maintaining academic integrity in the age of AI is crucial. By familiarizing yourself with AI writing patterns, using plagiarism detection tools, employing critical thinking, promoting ethical AI use, and implementing AI detection solutions, you can effectively detect AI-generated content in student papers and exams. By doing so, you will ensure that students benefit from AI tools without compromising their academic growth and development.