Can Turnitin Detect Chat GPT: 1 Comprehensive Analysis

Asha Joshi

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Can Turnitin Detect Chat GPT

Can Turnitin Detect Chat GPT

In today’s academic landscape, plagiarism has become a growing concern among educators and students alike.

As technology continues to advance, so does the sophistication of tools used to generate content. One such tool is Chat GPT, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) writing tool that provides work templates, revision notes, and even complete essays within minutes.

With the rise in popularity of Chat GPT, the question arises: Turnitin Detect Chat GPT, a widely used plagiarism detection tool, detect content generated by Chat GPT?

In this article, we will delve into the capabilities of Turnitin AI, its limitations, accuracy rate, and ways to bypass its detection.

Understanding Turnitin and its Functionality

Turnitin is an AI-powered plagiarism detection software that compares a student’s submitted document against a vast archive of internet documents, online data, previously submitted papers, and even a subscription repository of periodicals, journals, and publications.

Its primary purpose is to help educators identify instances of plagiarism and maintain academic writing integrity.

Turnitin achieves this by utilizing various methods to identify text similarities between documents, including word matching, sentence matching, and paraphrase detection.

Word Matching

When a student submits a document to Turnitin, the software examines the text within the document and cross-references it with its own database.

If a specific percentage of the words in the student’s document matches those in the database, Turnitin identifies the document as having a significant similarity score.

Sentence Matching

Turnitin also compares the sentences in a student’s document to the sentences in its database.

If a certain percentage of the sentences in the student’s document match sentences in the database, the AI detector flags the document as having a high Turnitin similarity score.

Paraphrase Detection

Turnitin can even detect when a student has paraphrased text from another source without proper citation. This is done by comparing the structure and word order of the student’s document to the structure and word order of the text in the database.

After comparing a student’s document to the database, Turnitin generates a similarity report. This report shows the percentage of the student’s document that is similar to other content in the database and provides a list of the sources with similarities.

Can Turnitin Detect Chat GPT?

The answer is yes, Turnitin can detect content generated by Chat GPT or other AI tools with high accuracy.

As AI writing tools gain popularity among students for their convenience and efficiency, concerns about the lack of originality in the generated content arise.

However, Turnitin’s advanced technology addresses these concerns.

As part of students’ overall AI detection strategy, Turnitin has developed a brand new AI writing and Chat GPT detector.

This detector has sparked controversy among students, as some object to the mandatory submission of their work to Turnitin, perceiving it as a presumption of guilt.

Critics also claim that Turnitin violates educational privacy and international intellectual property rules by permanently storing students’ writings in its private database.

While Turnitin’s detector is designed to identify content generated by AI, it is important to note that it may not always provide accurate results.

Studies have shown that Turnitin can make mistakes and, therefore, it is advisable to avoid submitting any content generated by Chat GPT or other AI tools.

How Does Turnitin Detect Chat GPT?

Turnitin has developed advanced AI detection technology that can identify Chat GPT with remarkable accuracy.

By analyzing various elements of the text, such as vocabulary, writing style, patterns, context, structure, and syntax, Turnitin’s system can differentiate between human-generated content and Chat GPT-generated content.


Turnitin’s AI detection engine compares submitted work to a huge database of previously submitted documents and online sources to find similarities, overlaps, and AI assistance.

Additionally, Turnitin employs a variety of techniques to identify writing that was produced with the assistance of AI. These methods aim to detect unique qualities associated with content generated by AI.

However, it is important to acknowledge that Turnitin’s detector is not perfect and may make mistakes.

Despite its impressive accuracy rate, there are instances where it may flag innocent students who write original essays or fail to detect instances of well-edited or mixed AI and human writing.

Can Turnitin Detect Paraphrasing?

Yes, the Turnitin algorithm can detect paraphrased content if it is done poorly. Turnitin employs a plagiarism detection software called iThenticate, which checks if a submitted document contains passages from previous submissions and assesses their uniqueness and expression.

To maintain academic writing integrity, Turnitin regularly updates its iThenticate algorithm to identify complex paraphrasing techniques.

However, some sources suggest that Turnitin may not detect professional paraphrasing or paraphrasing executed by tools like QuillBot.

This discrepancy may occur because Turnitin’s software focuses primarily on exact word or phrase matches rather than identifying the meaning of the sentence itself.

In conclusion, Turnitin can detect paraphrasing, but it does have limitations. It is crucial to exercise caution and avoid submitting any form of paraphrased or AI-generated content, as it can jeopardize academic integrity and increase the risk of detection by educators.

Is Turnitin Better than GPT Zero?

GPTZero, a Chat GPT detection tool developed by Edward Tian in December 2022, faces tough competition from established players like Turnitin AI detector.

However, based on popularity and user confidence, Turnitin appears to be the preferred choice among educational institutions and educators.

According to Similarweb data, the popularity of GPTZero has been declining, while Turnitin continues to be widely used. A significant number of 2.1 million teachers already rely on Turnitin to detect cheating in their students’ assignments.

Turnitin’s popularity can be attributed to its claimed accuracy rate of 98% and positive feedback from educators who find it more accurate than GPTZero. In contrast, GPTZero offers free access for everyone to use, while Turnitin is a paid service exclusively utilized by teachers.

If you are a student or a digital marketer, Turnitin may not be available for your use. In such cases, you can consider using Turnitin alternatives such as GPTZero, Originality AI, or other AI detection tools.

Is Turnitin AI Detector Accurate?

Turnitin’s AI Detector is highly regarded for its accuracy in detecting plagiarism and AI-generated content in academic papers.

According to Turnitin, the AI Detector can detect AI writing with an impressive 98% accuracy based on data collected and verified in its AI Innovation Lab.

However, there have been reported cases of false positives, where the detector mistakenly identifies human-written text as AI-generated.

This poses a challenge for students who have not cheated using AI but are still flagged by Turnitin.

Several factors contribute to the inherent challenges faced by Turnitin’s AI detector, preventing it from achieving 100% accuracy.

The rapid evolution of AI technology poses a significant hurdle for Turnitin to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements.

Moreover, the similarity between AI-generated text and content written by humans creates difficulties in distinguishing between them.

Another factor is Turnitin’s reliance on a dataset of past submissions for training, which helps detect similarities but also creates a bias towards finding text that closely resembles that dataset.

In general, Turnitin is a valuable tool for educators to spot plagiarism in student work. However, it is essential to be aware of the limitations and take necessary precautions to prevent false positive results.

Limitations of Turnitin AI

Turnitin, as a popular AI-powered plagiarism detection software used by educational institutions worldwide, has its limitations.

While it helps teachers find instances of plagiarism by comparing student work to a vast online database, there are certain constraints to be aware of.

Some limitations of Turnitin include:

  1. Turnitin can only detect plagiarism through direct copying and pasting from online sources and cannot identify plagiarism through paraphrasing or summarizing without proper citation.
  2. It can only detect plagiarism in text and cannot identify plagiarism in images, videos, or other multimedia content.
  3. Student work cannot be matched to sites that require a login or do not allow search engines to index them.
  4. Turnitin may not match very recent updates on websites.
  5. It has the potential to generate false positives or fail to catch instances of genuine plagiarism.
  6. It may be susceptible to improvised text character sets, reorganized symbols, text replaced with Bézier curves, or automatically rephrased text.
  7. It is expensive and only available to learning institutions, not individual entities.

Despite these limitations, Turnitin remains a valuable tool for instructors to maintain academic honesty in their classrooms.

However, it is important to use Turnitin alongside other plagiarism detection methods and be aware of its constraints.

How to Bypass Turnitin Plagiarism?

Attempting to bypass Turnitin is strongly discouraged as it undermines academic integrity.

However, there are tactics that some may try to reduce the text similarity ratings obtained from plagiarism detection software like Turnitin.

It is important to note that these tactics should not be used with the intent to plagiarize or cheat.

Some tricks that are sometimes suggested to bypass Turnitin include:

  1. Using a plagiarism checker that is not as sophisticated as Turnitin.
  2. Submitting work in a format that Turnitin cannot read.
  3. Changing the text of work to avoid matching any sources in Turnitin’s database.

However, it is crucial to emphasize that these tactics are not recommended and can have severe consequences.

Plagiarism is a serious offense that can result in a failing grade, expulsion from school, or damage to one’s academic and professional reputation.

It is always better to seek assistance from peers, family, or tutors when struggling with a writing assignment.

Can Universities Detect Chat GPT?

As of now, some universities may possess the capability to identify Chat GPT’s involvement in generating content.

Although Chat GPT is a relatively recent model, certain AI detection software has already caught up to it. Turnitin’s Chat GPT detector stands out as a prevalent detection tool known for its remarkable accuracy.

Additionally, other GPT detectors like Originality AI and GPTZero are also available.


Interestingly, several professors on social media have openly admitted their ability to discern essays or the use of AI by Chat GPT from a considerable distance.

They have noted that the AI-generated responses often lack critical analysis, serving as an indication to anyone assessing the assignment.

Moreover, OpenAI has announced its plan to incorporate watermarks into Chat GPT’s responses, explicitly indicating when a text was generated using their model.

This move aims to facilitate the detection of Chat GPT’s involvement, making it even more straightforward in the future.

In conclusion, it is not advisable to use Chat GPT to write assignments. There are tools available that can detect its writing style, and professors may be able to tell if it has been utilized.

It is important to prioritize academic integrity and avoid using AI tools like Chat GPT for academic writing tasks.

Consequences of Using Chat GPT for Academic Writing

Using Chat GPT for academic writing can have significant consequences. It is essential to consider the following outcomes:


Chat GPT relies on a vast collection of text and code for training, making it possible for it to produce plagiarized content. Using Chat GPT to complete writing tasks puts students at risk of being accused of plagiarism.

Academic Dishonesty

Utilizing Chat GPT to complete coursework is considered academic dishonesty. There are severe consequences for engaging in academic dishonesty, including failing assignments or even expulsion from school.

Loss of Learning

Relying solely on Chat GPT for writing assignments can lead to a loss of learning. It is not a substitute for independent study and can hinder students’ ability to perform well on tests and other evaluations.

Increased Reliance on Technology

Using Chat GPT excessively can result in an over-reliance on technology. By relying on AI tools to complete tasks, students may miss out on opportunities to develop their analytical and problem-solving skills independently.

This can make it challenging to achieve academic and professional success.

While Chat GPT can be used to brainstorm topics for written assignments, it should be used with caution, and proper citation of sources is necessary.


In this comprehensive analysis, we have explored the capabilities of Turnitin AI, its limitations, accuracy rate, and ways to bypass its detection.

Turnitin is a powerful tool that can detect content generated by Chat GPT or other AI tools with impressive accuracy.

It utilizes advanced AI detection technology to analyze various elements of the text and differentiate between human-generated and AI-generated content.

However, it is worth noting that Turnitin’s detector is not infallible and may make mistakes.

It is crucial to understand the limitations of Turnitin and avoid submitting any content generated by Chat GPT or other AI tools to maintain academic integrity.

Ultimately, academic success relies on developing independent writing and critical thinking skills.

While AI tools can be helpful, they should not replace the learning process or compromise academic integrity.

Note: This article was written and published by Mithin at Ai Optimistic. For more AI-related content, visit

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