Can universities detect ChatGPT? – Essentially yes

A complete guide to Chat GPT essays and if universities can detect them

Chat GPT Playground

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If you’re wondering ‘can universities can detect ChatGPT?’, we’ve got all the information you need to know below. The short answer is yes, they can do that – but there is a bit more too this since it depends on a few key things. We go through everything you need to know below.

Since its release at the end of 2022, ChatGPT has taken the world by storm and has become one of the most popular chatbots around. The AI bot developed by OpenAI has some extremely advanced capabilities. Quite recently, ChatGPT successfully passed the law bar exam. As a result, this AI model has become a topic of interest/concern for many students and universities alike.

Due to its free nature and its accessibility as an ai writing tool, many students have been reaching for this model for their university assignments and academic writing assignments. And if you are a student hoping to use this in the future, you may have concerns about whether your university can detect ChatGPT or content written by artificial intelligence in general.

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As it currently stands, your university may be able to detect ChatGPT. Despite the model being relatively new, some AI detection software has already caught up. GPTZero is probably the most common detection tool around and boasts impressive accuracy. There are both free and paid GPT detectors out there such as Originality Ai too.

However, some professors on Reddit have even confessed they can sniff out a ChatGPT essay or the use of ai from a mile away. Many have reported that the AI bot produces mediocre responses that lack any critical analysis. Which may be an indicator to anyone assessing your assignment.

OpenAI has also announced that they will be adding watermarks to ChatGPT’s responses to indicate when a text was generated using their model. Making ChatGPT detection in the future easier than ever.

ChatGPT essays

When it comes to student assignments, getting ai chatbots to write them comes with various pros and cons. Obviously, there’s a massive pro of not actually having to do the work yourself. On top of that, ChatGPT will also construct a completely coherent, well-researched essay of any length as long as you prompt it.

What about the cons though? ChatGPT is clearly a pretty great tool, but something you should be wary of is ChatGPT’s limitations. As outlined by OpenAI, the model does not guarantee to generate correct information. It also has the potential to produce biased content.

Another issue with using this tool, or any ai writing tools, could be a golden ticket is plagiarism. You really do not want to be messing about, when it comes to potential plagiarism on assignments.

And don’t forget about good old academic integrity! Sure, this is a great shortcut and could help you out in a pinch, but there’s always something to be said about doing the work yourself…

Unless you purchase high-quality software to run your ChatGPT essay through, you won’t truly know how badly plagiarized it really is.

Can Turnitin detect ChatGPT?

If we’re asking whether universities detect ChatGPT, Turnitin is a good place to start. Turnitin is well-known for its plagiarism detection and is used by most universities and colleges. The software is built to detect whether students have copied someone else’s work in their assignments.

Turnitin was originally designed to simply detect plagiarism and not detect the use of ChatGPT. However, in recent news, the organization has released a new service called the Turnitin AI Innovation Lab.

As part of their AI detection scheme, they have launched a new AI writing and ChatGPT detector. The new software is said to have 98% confidence. At the moment, the detector is only available to non-student users with a free preview available to institutions.

While we wait for the new service to be widely used, if you have concerns about getting caught for using ChatGPT by Turnitin, it really only boils down to if ChatGPT’s response is plagiarized.

According to OpenAI, none of ChatGPT’s responses are necessarily copies of the specific text. The model generates its texts by analyzing the data it was trained on. Where it then creates its response in its ‘own’ words.

The developers do say the model does not intend to plagiarize any text, although it does have the potential to produce a response closely similar to another source already out there.

Many users online have been testing ChatGPT essays with the well-known plagiarism checker, Turnitin, and have shared their results.

Plagiarism Expert put ChatGPT to the test. They asked the bot to write a 500-word essay about the impact of climate change.

When they put ChatGPT’s response into this plagiarism checker, it was found to only have 45% similarity. Considering this is an essay you have not had to write yourself, this isn’t too bad. Although, 45% of plagiarism, if anything, is something to worry about.

Can Turnitin detect copy and paste?

Yes, Turnitin will be able to detect copied and pasted texts. If you have copied a passage from another source, like an academic journal or website, Turnitin will be able to flag this.

However, whether it will be able to detect copied text from ChatGPT is still uncertain. Turnitin measures the similarity of your work with other resources out there.

Therefore, there’s a possibility that ChatGPT’s responses could be detected, but it only depends on the specific text generated and how closely it matches existing information.

Can universities detect ChatGPT code?

Whether or not universities detect ChatGPT, and will know if you have copied from the service, is tricky to answer. Technically, code will not be flagged by most plagiarism detectors, so your professors may have some difficulty actually identifying what is AI-generated or not.

They may be suspicious, though. Especially, if the code contains techniques that weren’t covered in class or perhaps seem more sophisticated than they expect. Something you should be wary of, however, is similarity.

If others in your class also decide to use ChatGPT to complete a programming assignment, all your answers may look very similar. This would be flagged by your professor and could potentially get you in trouble.

Final Thoughts

So what is the moral of the story? Can universities detect ChatGPT? In theory yes, and from what it looks like, if you do use ChatGPT you cannot guarantee that is will be plagiarism free. Then again, there are different ways to use the tool to help you with your homework without getting caught in the act.

On the other hand, when it comes to whether universities will know if you have used ChatGPT, this is still up for debate. At the moment, GPT-detection software is already widely available so perhaps your university will know you are using an AI model for your assignment.