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Do University AI Detectors Actually Work?

University AI Detectors

Exploring the Role of University AI Detectors

University AI detectors are academia’s supposedly “foolproof” method to even the playing field, but they’re not exactly doing the best job.

Anyone currently in higher education will have their own opinions on this piece of software, I’m sure.

It seems that even those who aren’t using ChatGPT (or any other generator) are being penalised.

What Are AI Detectors?

AI detectors are AI systems that are trained to recognise a wide array of abnormalities or patterns within video and text.

So, depending on your writing style, you could easily be mistaken for a bot.

Detecting the Use of AI

These university AI checkers use a range of techniques to identify the presence of AI algorithms and applications. These techniques may include:

  1. Algorithmic Analysis: This means AI detectors analytically scrutinise the behaviour and patterns shown by something. If it can analyse any underlying algorithms, it can decide whether AI is being used.
  2. Pattern Recognition: AI has certain “tells” that systems can easily spot if it’s in use. This could include patterns in data processing, decision-making, or text patterns that seem like AI meddling.
  3. Comparative Analysis: Detectors may compare an object, such as an image or text, and benchmark it against its own dataset. Similarities, regardless of context, could be flagged as AI usage.

The Uses of AI Detectors

They are diverse and multifaceted:

  1. Compliance: Environments like education need regulatory compliance, and there are strict guidelines in place against AI. Verifying whether it has been used or not is important in maintaining policy.
  2. Ethics: AI is still learning, and can be a little tone deaf at times. So, by identifying instances of AI bias, discrimination,
  3. Security and Fraud Detection: AI detectors can be used to fight other AI systems. They can determine whether suspicious activity is AI and counteract it in a genuinely successful way.

Why Do Universities Need To Detect AI?

University is stressful, and assignments can get on top of people a lot quicker than you think.

So naturally, many young procrastinators may feel like turning to ChatGPT to do the heavy lifting for them, which isn’t overly fair for those who are cramming 12 hours of studying into 4.

The goal is to level the playing field and penalise those who are relying on AI to write their work for them, and credit those who don’t.

Yet, this isn’t a foolproof method and students are being accused by University AI detectors of plagiarism when it in fact isn’t the case.

What Triggers It?

Theoretically, writing academically in any way can trigger a detector.

In the same way that plagiarism detectors will always flag up at least 5% on average, AI checkers tend to do the same thing.

The only difference being, people who don’t understand AI will usually come down harder on smaller percentages, as opposed to plagiarism.

The education system is still learning how to leverage regulation when it comes to AI, so it’ll be a bumpy ride for the next year or two.

How Can Students Get Around  University AI Detectors?

If you want to keep your life simple, don’t use it to write your assignments: It’s not a good idea.

It’s the equivalent of going on Wikiapedia, copying and pasting the text into a word document, printing it and handing it to your teacher – without removing the links or changing the text colour. (Something I have seen people do at ages when they should know how to remove links).

If you’re really hooked on ChatGPT, then use it to give you a head start:

  1. Ask it for writing prompts.
  2. Create an assignment content outline.
  3. Format a studying schedule optimised around your working style.
  4. Make contextually relevant puns to put in your essay.
  5. Ask it for emotional support during exam season.
  6. Get it to write out essay title ideas.
  7. Organise your content so it makes structural sense.

The list goes on, really, you can ask it anything.

Use AI to enhance what you can already do, not replace it.

So Do University AI Detectors Actually Work?

They do what they’re supposed to do, but they’re just a little overzealous.

The easiest way to avoid an argument with your lecturer is to avoid adding anything you haven’t written to your essays, other than direct quotes or citations.

Use AI to help you behind the scenes and keep it out of official work.

Not getting caught by University AI detectors is as simple as that, so stop being slack.