Does Turnitin Detect Chat GPT?

Does Turnitin Detect Chat GPT?

Indeed, Since April 23rd 2023 Turnitin is capable of identifying content produced by ChatGPT. ChatGPT, a creation of OpenAI, stands at the forefront of conversational AI technology.

Its growing popularity stems from its proficiency in crafting text that closely resembles human writing. Reflecting on Albert Einstein’s words, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination,” it’s evident that ChatGPT embodies this imaginative flair in its text creation. Meanwhile, systems like Turnitin have advanced to recognize and flag content generated by such AI models.

Turnitin, a renowned name in plagiarism detection, has evolved to confront the challenge of AI-created content. On April 4, 2023, they unveiled AI writing detection capabilities across a range of their offerings, including Turnitin Feedback Studio (TFS), TFS with Originality, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity, Simcheck, Originality Check, and Originality Check+.

This enhancement marks a crucial stride in preserving the authenticity and integrity of academic work. Turnitin’s updated system boasts a remarkable ability to identify writings from Chat GPT with about 98% accuracy.

Such precision in detection allows for effective scrutiny of student work, safeguarding the authenticity of their submissions. With these advancements, Turnitin reinforces its commitment to the academic community, benefiting over 2.1 million educators and 10,700 educational institutions. Consequently, this ensures that the work of more than 62 million students genuinely reflects their understanding and skills.

How Turnitin Detects Chat GPT Writings:

Database Comparison: Turnitin’s vast database of academic papers, journals, articles, and student submissions is a key tool. It compares submitted texts against this database to find matches.

Writing Pattern Recognition: The software has algorithms to identify unique writing patterns characteristic of AI models, distinguishing them from human writing.

Statistical Analysis: Turnitin can analyze the structure, word choice, and sentence length of texts, identifying patterns typical of AI-generated content.

Continuous Updates: The system regularly updates to stay abreast of the latest AI text generators, including GPT-3, GPT-3.5, and the more advanced GPT-4.

Can Universities Detect Chat GPT Content?

Universities are indeed capable of detecting content generated by Chat GPT. Most academic institutions utilize platforms like Turnitin to verify the originality of student submissions. These platforms have been enhanced to recognize outputs from sophisticated AI models.

As ChatGPT gains popularity among students for academic tasks, the updated features of Turnitin play a pivotal role in flagging content that mirrors ChatGPT’s writing style and patterns.

Additionally, educators and academic professionals, familiar with their students’ writing abilities and styles, are often able to identify anomalies in submissions, even if AI-generated content evades detection tools.

Functioning of Turnitin:

Turnitin operates by comparing student submissions against its extensive database that includes internet sources, academic publications, and a vast array of student papers. It then generates a Similarity Report, which indicates the percentage of the student’s work that corresponds with content in Turnitin’s databases.

The Similarity Report generated by Turnitin not only pinpoints the exact segments of text that align with its database but also provides links to the corresponding sources. Turnitin employs various strategies to uncover instances of plagiarism, such as:

Word Matching: This involves identifying exact word-for-word matches between a student’s submission and the text in Turnitin’s extensive database.
Phrase Matching: Here, Turnitin scans for instances where phrases in a student’s work closely align with those in its database, even if the word order differs.

Idea Matching: Turnitin goes a step further by detecting similarities in the core ideas or concepts of a student’s work with other sources, regardless of the exact wording.

It’s important to note that the Similarity Report from Turnitin is not an outright verdict of plagiarism. Rather, it serves as a tool to assist educators in spotting potential issues in student submissions. The responsibility ultimately lies with the educators to assess and determine if an act of plagiarism has occurred.

Turnitin ChatGPT Screening Feature

In response to the growing use of AI in content creation, Turnitin introduced the ChatGPT Screening feature in April 2023. This innovative functionality is specifically tailored to recognize content produced by AI, including that generated by ChatGPT. The ChatGPT Screening is a testament to Turnitin’s commitment to evolving alongside technological advancements and maintaining the integrity of academic work in the age of artificial intelligence.

The Turnitin ChatGPT Screening function operates by scrutinizing the style and patterns in submitted texts. It specifically looks for characteristics often found in AI-generated content, including:

Repetitive Sentence Structures: AI-generated text can exhibit a tendency for repeated sentence formats.
Clichéd Language: Overuse of common phrases or expressions is another hallmark of AI-produced text.
Lack of Originality: AI texts might show a deficit in unique perspectives or ideas.
Lack of Critical Thinking: There could be an absence of in-depth analysis or critical insight in AI-generated content.
Importance of Turnitin ChatGPT Screening

Turnitin’s ChatGPT Screening holds significant value as it’s a cutting-edge tool aiding educators in identifying AI-generated submissions. This is crucial in an era where AI writing tools are becoming more advanced and accessible, potentially tempting students to use them dishonestly.

By employing Turnitin ChatGPT Screening, educators can better ensure the authenticity of student work and uphold academic integrity, ensuring that students are genuinely engaging with and learning the material.

Methods for Educators to Detect Chat GPT Usage

Educators can detect the use of ChatGPT through various means, such as:

Plagiarism Detection Software: Tools like Turnitin have evolved to detect AI-generated content, including texts produced by ChatGPT.
Analysis of Writing Style and Patterns: Human readers can often spot specific stylistic patterns indicative of ChatGPT-generated text.
Comparison with Previous Work: A significant deviation in style or quality from a student’s past submissions could indicate the use of ChatGPT.
Can Teachers Tell If Students Use ChatGPT?

Teachers have the ability to identify when students might be using ChatGPT models to aid in assignments or online discussions. By leveraging tools like Turnitin and Grammarly, teachers can ensure that students produce original work and engage authentically in discussions.

Ethical Considerations of Using Chat GPT

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a potent language model capable of generating realistic conversations for various applications, including customer service, education, and entertainment. However, its potential misuse raises several ethical concerns:

Misinformation and Disinformation: ChatGPT could be used to craft convincing but false content like news articles or social media posts.

Spam and Phishing: The model can generate spam emails and phishing messages.

Bias and Discrimination: Being trained on extensive datasets, ChatGPT may inadvertently perpetuate existing biases and stereotypes.

Privacy and Surveillance: ChatGPT could be employed in collecting and analyzing large volumes of data about individuals.


Turnitin is a tool designed to detect similarities in texts by comparing submissions against its extensive database of academic content, web sources, and prior student papers. However, it has its limits and may not successfully detect:

Unpublished Works: Materials that haven’t been published or included in its database.

Paraphrasing and Rewriting: Skillfully paraphrased or rewritten content that doesn’t closely mirror the original text.

Uncommon Languages: Texts written in languages that are not widely represented in Turnitin’s database.

Images, Equations, Non-textual Content: Non-textual elements like images and mathematical equations.

When it comes to flagging content, Turnitin identifies text that shares similarities with its database content. This includes:

Direct quotes without proper citations.

Paraphrased content too similar to the source.

Copied and pasted text from websites or other sources.

Text translated from another language.

AI-generated content, including that from tools like ChatGPT.

You can configure Turnitin to exclude certain elements:

References: By opting to exclude the references section.

Quotes: By selecting to exclude quoted text.

Small Matches: By setting a threshold for the minimum word count or percentage for matches.

Entire Sources: Such as books or articles you’ve cited.

Specific Sections: Like the introduction or conclusion.

Outsmarting Turnitin is challenging due to its evolving detection capabilities. While it’s possible, Turnitin’s continuous updates make it increasingly difficult to bypass its plagiarism checks.

The threshold for what constitutes an acceptable Turnitin similarity score varies. Generally, a score below 15% is often deemed acceptable. Scores between 16-25% might raise concerns, and anything over 26% is typically considered too high. However, these are broad guidelines, and specific requirements may vary based on the institution or instructor.

In summary, Turnitin and ChatGPT represent significant aspects of modern education technology. As universities and educators strive to identify AI-generated work, including content from ChatGPT, it highlights the importance of keeping academic integrity at the forefront. This evolving dynamic between plagiarism detection tools and AI underscores the need for awareness and adaptation in educational practices.