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Turnitin’s New AI Writing Detection (and what it means for your teaching)

Posted by on Tuesday, April 4, 2023 in News, Resources.

Effective August 16, 2023, Vanderbilt has disabled Turnitin’s AI detection tool. To read more about why this decision was made, refer to this newer blog post.


Beginning on 4/4/2023, faculty who use Turnitin now have access to an additional tool – Artificial Intelligence (AI) Writing Detection. There is no denying that artificial intelligence has had a massive impact on education and will continue to do so as it develops. So what does this tool do, and what does it mean for your teaching?




This tool’s intended purpose is to identify when student writing has been produced by an AI tool like ChatGPT. If you intend to use this new functionality, it is important that you understand that we have no insight into how it works. We cannot determine whether it is using reliable or accurate metrics, and some studies have already been conducted that suggest it may be heavily unreliable. The nature of tools which use artificial intelligence is such that they are developing quickly. False positives are not just a possibility, but an inevitability. As such, this tool cannot be fairly used as a way to assess whether a student’s work may have been written by an AI tool. We strongly recommend that any faculty member intending to use this functionality uses it as a guideline, not a grading metric. Treat any flags the tool may raise as a reason to review the student’s work further, but recognize that the technology is fallible. 

If you have questions or concerns about AI and its impact on your classes, we’d love to work with you and develop strategies for your classroom. If you have questions about Turnitin or AI Writing, please reach out to us at


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