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Turnitin marks one-year anniversary of its AI writing detector with millions of papers reviewed globally

Anniversary and number of papers reviewed sheds new light on data around AI writing use in education

Today, Turnitin celebrates the first anniversary of its award-winning AI writing detection feature. Since the launch of the tool in April 2023, over 200 million papers have been reviewed. Turnitin’s data on the presence of AI writing in student work indicates continued use of AI in writing submissions since the feature’s launch in 2023.

Of the over 200 million papers reviewed,* Turnitin data shows:

Over 22 million (approximately 11 percent of over 200 million) have at least 20 percent AI writing present*
Over six million (approximately three percent of over 200 million) have at least 80 percent AI writing present*

“We’re at an important juncture in education where technologies are transforming learning, and the need for academic integrity is more critical than ever,” said Annie Chechitelli, chief product officer of Turnitin. “Everyone in education is looking for resources to enable them to perform at their best, and technologies, including our AI writing detection feature, help advance learning without sacrificing academic integrity.”

The consistent presence of AI writing in Turnitin’s data highlights a continued need to view the use of AI writing tools in education as a complex, ever-evolving puzzle. Educators and institutions should look at a variety of factors – or puzzle pieces – beyond detection. This includes open discussions with students regarding acceptable uses of AI writing in the classroom, reviewing academic policies and revising essay prompts.

To further highlight the prevalence of AI writing in the classroom, a recent study conducted by Tyton Partners** also found that nearly half of the students surveyed have used generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, monthly, weekly or daily. Additionally, the survey** found 75 percent of these students said they will continue to use the technology even if faculty or institutions ban it. Students and instructors have gained a new tool that can help promote transparency and develop critical thinking skills. The use of generative AI has grown over the past year with more growth to come.

Since its launch, Turnitin’s AI writing detection feature has been recognized as an innovative edtech solution, supporting academic integrity in an ever-changing educational landscape. The feature was shortlisted by the 2024 Bett Awards in the “AI in education” category and named Best in Show by Tech & Learning at ISTE 2023.

Turnitin has been a leader in academic integrity for more than 25 years. Turnitin’s dedicated AI engineering team began working on a detection solution more than two years prior to the launch of ChatGPT and was able to launch its new feature within months of the OpenAI’s generative AI application release. The tool integrates the AI writing report within the existing Turnitin workflow, providing educators with an overall percentage of the document that AI writing tools, like ChatGPT, may have generated. It is available within Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Feedback Studio with Originality, and iThenticate 2.0 with AI writing detection.

*As of March 21, 2024.

**Turnitin was a partner in providing compensation to conduct Tyton’s GenAI in Higher Education: Fall 2023 Update Time for Class Study.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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Equity & Access - Issue 28

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