AI-Generated Content Detection in Schools: Do They Work?

AI-Generated Content Detection

Challenges and Solutions: Navigating AI-Generated Content Detection

In today’s modern age, AI-generated content detection has become a pressing concern for educators, especially with the rise of advanced AI tools. Most notably, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has created waves in the AI community, they have even come out saying that AI-generated content detection is challenging.

Many educational institutions, from school districts to colleges, are grappling with the challenges AI-generated content poses in academic assignments.

It’s come to light that several students have turned to AI for help with their work without openly admitting it.

Not only does this raise questions about academic integrity, but it also may conflict with some platform usage terms, especially regarding age restrictions and parental consent.

As an advocate for responsible AI use, I recommend educators stay informed about ongoing developments. Each institution is unique, and they should determine the best approach for integrating AI into their academic guidelines at their own pace.

Interestingly, over the past months, we’ve observed various schools and universities establishing rules regarding AI content.

Many schools and universities have implemented plagiarism tools that now claim to detect AI content in students’ work.

Can We Detect AI-Generated Content?

Can We Detect AI-Generated Content?

Simply put, current detection tools haven’t proven consistently effective. Some claim to identify AI-created content, but their reliability is questionable, especially considering the weighty consequences for students.

For instance, when a test was conducted using one such detector, classic human-authored pieces, including works of Shakespeare and the Declaration of Independence, were mistakenly flagged as AI-produced.

Furthermore, these detectors might unintentionally target students for whom English is a second language or those who tend to write formulaically.

Even if a tool could pinpoint AI-generated content, minor student modifications can make detection nearly impossible.

Promoting Transparent AI Usage in Classrooms

Promoting Transparent AI Usage in Classrooms
AI Image Generated with Dalle-3, AI still struggles with text!

Embracing AI in education doesn’t mean disregarding its potential pitfalls. Schools need to adopt a transparent approach, educating both teachers and students about the responsible use of AI tools.

By fostering open communication and setting clear boundaries, educators can harness the power of AI while ensuring it’s used ethically and effectively.

Rather than fighting the tide, some educators promote transparent interactions with AI tools. Here are some benefits of this approach:

  • Showcasing Thought Processes: By asking students to share their dialogues with AI tools, teachers can gauge their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Peer Review & Collaboration: Sharing AI interactions lets students evaluate and learn from each other’s techniques, promoting teamwork.
  • Tracking Growth: Maintaining a record of AI interactions enables students to witness their growth in questioning, analysis, and information synthesis. This also allows teachers to give tailored feedback to foster individual progress.
  • Understanding AI: Students need to comprehend AI’s strengths and limitations. Through their interactions, they can demonstrate their capability to engage with AI, recognize its limitations, and think critically about the information provided.
  • Preparing for the Future: As AI becomes an integral part of various professions, familiarizing students with its ethical and effective use prepares them for future challenges.
  • Ensuring Accountability: Transparent AI interactions ensure that students utilize AI responsibly, emphasizing understanding over mere replication.

ChatGPT: A Tool for Learning or a Shortcut to Success?

The debate around ChatGPT and similar AI tools often centers on their potential misuse as cheating aids.

However, when used responsibly, these tools can be valuable assets in the learning process.

The key lies in striking a balance – leveraging the massive potential of AI to support learning while instilling values of honesty and integrity in students.

To learn more about the benefits of ChatGPT see our article “GPT-4 Plugins for Learning

Warning! Free AI-Generated Content Detection Tools

Numerous tools have emerged claiming to detect AI-generated content.

While some of these tools come with a price tag, many are offered for free. But as the old adage goes, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Here’s why you should be cautious:

  • Limited Accuracy: Free tools often lack the sophisticated algorithms and updated databases required to detect the latest AI-generated content. This can result in false positives or, worse, false negatives.
  • Data Privacy Concerns: Using free tools might come at the cost of your data. There’s always a risk that these tools could store, share, or misuse your content without your knowledge.
  • Lack of Support: Free tools rarely come with dedicated customer support. If you encounter issues or inaccuracies, you might be left alone to figure things out.
  • Potential Hidden Costs: Some “free” tools might have hidden costs, such as limited usage, watermarked results, or upselling premium features.

Before relying on any tool, especially free ones, it’s essential to do thorough research, read user reviews, and understand the tool’s limitations. Remember, when it comes to ensuring the authenticity of content, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

I have personally tested many of these AI detection tools both free and paid and have found them to be complete scams.


AI-generated content detection is a pressing issue in education. With the rise of tools like ChatGPT, ensuring academic integrity becomes complex. Current detection methods, especially free ones, aren’t always reliable.

Educators must focus on leveraging AI’s benefits while promoting honest use among students. As AI’s role in education grows, a clear, informed approach is essential.

Can Packback detect ChatGPT-generated content?

As of the latest available information, Packback, and similar platforms primarily focus on detecting plagiarism by comparing content against available databases and online sources. However, detecting AI-generated content like that from ChatGPT is a different challenge altogether. While some tools claim to identify AI-created content, their reliability can be inconsistent.

As AI continues to evolve, it’s possible that future versions of platforms like Packback may incorporate AI detection features. It’s always a good practice for educators and students to stay updated on the capabilities of these platforms.

Can Blackboard detect ChatGPT-generated content?

Blackboard, a widely used learning management system, has various tools and integrations designed to assist educators in ensuring academic integrity, including plagiarism detection. However, detecting content generated by AI tools like ChatGPT is distinct from identifying plagiarized content.

As of the last update in 2022, Blackboard does not have a specific mechanism to detect AI-generated content. It’s important for educators and students to be aware of this distinction and remain informed about any future enhancements in Blackboard’s capabilities.

Can Turnitin detect ChatGPT-generated content?

Turnitin is renowned for its plagiarism detection capabilities, comparing student submissions to a vast database of academic works and online content. However, recognizing AI-generated content, such as that produced by ChatGPT, presents a unique challenge that differs from traditional plagiarism detection.

As of 2022, Turnitin does not have a specialized feature to explicitly detect AI-produced text. Educators and students should know this limitation and stay abreast of any updates or changes in Turnitin’s feature set.

Does SafeAssign detect ChatGPT-generated content?

SafeAssign, often integrated with Blackboard, is primarily designed to detect and prevent plagiarism by comparing submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap. Regarding AI-generated content like that from ChatGPT, the challenge is different from typical plagiarism detection.

As of the information available in 2022, SafeAssign does not have a dedicated mechanism to identify content solely because it’s produced by AI. It’s essential for educators and students to recognize this distinction and stay updated on SafeAssign’s evolving capabilities.

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