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Turnitin AI Writing Detection

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Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology have put efforts to detect it at the forefront of education. Turnitin accelerated the development of its AI writing detection capabilities and released its AI writing indicator within Feedback Studio in Spring 2023. This tool informs educators how much of a student's submission is authentic, human writing vs. AI-generative text from tools with 98% confidence.

Currently the AI Indicator is only available for submissions written in English and for documents submitted after April 4, 2023. If you want to check a submission made before this date, you can utilize Turnitin's Quick Submit feature.

The model works mainly with prose text contained in long-form writing such as essays. It does not reliably detect AI-generated text in the form of non-prose such as poetry, scripts, code, ordered/unordered lists, tables, or annotated bibliographies.

In order for a submission to generate an AI writing report and percentage, the submission needs to meet the following requirements:

  • File size must be less than 100 MB
  • File must have at least 300 words of prose text in a long-form writing format
  • File must not exceed 15,000 words
  • File must be written in English
  • Accepted file types: .docx, .pdf, .txt., .rtf

Turnitin's AI writing detection: An introduction for educators and administrators

View the following 3-minute video for an overview of Turnitin's AI writing detection capabilities.

Locating the AI Indicator for student submissions

AI Indicator shows 56% AI-generative writing for a submission

To begin, access Feedback Studio through your usual method:

The AI Indicator will appear as part of the Similarity Report, but will only be visible to you as an instructor. Your students will not be able to see it, but it is recommended to let your students know that AI writing detection exists within Turnitin's framework.

After the Similarity Report has been generated for the submission, open it and you will see the blue AI Indicator in the side panel. The number here represents an overall percentage of the document that Turnitin's software estimates was generated by AI writing tools. To see the full AI report, click the AI Indicator button.

Using the AI Indicator report

AI report shows highlighted text Turnitin's model detects was written by AI generative technology

The AI Indicator report highlights the text segments of the assignment [A] that Turnitin's model predicts was written by AI. Like the Similarity Score, it will be important for you to review the highlighted text and decide what is acceptable for the assignment.

The report also features a number of resources [B]:

  • FAQs - Information on how Turnitin's AI writing detection works 
  • Resources - Selected pedagogical resources that may be helpful for you when addressing AI writing with your students
  • Guides - More information for helping you interpret the AI writing indicator score, including tips for trouble-shooting scores that do not return

Access additional resources

Turnitin provides several updates and resources to support educators with approaching AI in their classrooms and writing labs:

For questions or technical assistance with Turnitin's AI Indicator, view their AI Writing Detection guide or contact [email protected].


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