Are Students using AI Detectors to Cheat?

Ian Hartley


May 22, 2023

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With the rise of plagiarism detection tools like Turnitin, GPTZero, Copyleaks, and more, some instructors feel like they have a 'silver bullet' for stopping the use of ChatGPT and other AI tools on assignments. The reality is far from the truth. We've written often how and why 'detector' tools including the aforementioned don't actually work in accurately detecting plagiarism, and may cause more harm than good. While these services are lauded for providing some level of free access online for instructors, it is often overlooked that students may use these tools to likewise check their own work and subsequently perform edits so it appears to be human writing.

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For example, any student who can access ChatGPT, can also access "GPTZero", which self-describes as the "Worlds #1 AI Detector Used by Millions of Users". One wonders how many of those millions of users are students? Beyond the issue of students using the very same 'detection' tools to tweak their papers so they're not flagged as AI, instructors are seeing that even the newly released generation of ChatGPT, called "GPT-4", is already undetectable by AI detectors like Turnitin and GPTZero.

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Given the situation, instructors have few options to create an AI policy that is actually enforceable - beyond a policy in which AI can be used on any and every assignment. As humans, we naturally tend toward the path of least resistance, and when it comes to completing mentally challenging assignments, that path is typically using AI assistance. While our modern world is full of conveniences that empower us to be more capable and achieve more, we also must learn how to live without these conveniences. The calculator analogy again holds true: although we have mathematical calculators, we still learn to do math by hand, and calculators are allowed on some exams, but not others. The same should be true for AI tools in education.

Authoriginal is an simple and powerful way to create an AI policy that is actually enforceable. Authoriginal prevents, or permits, the use of AI on assignments, at the discretion of instructors. As a native LMS experience for instructors and browser extension for students, it's extremely easy to integrate into your workflow. If you're interested in learning more about Authoriginal, reach out to us at, and we'd love to set up a demo!

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