Does Turnitin detect ChatGPT?

Does- Turnitin- detect- ChatGPT?

ChatGPT, the double-edged sword, has been described as impressive as well as misleading at the same time. People have been divided in deciding whether it is a boon or a bane. And, exploiting these opportunities, new ChatGPT detecting software has been launched in the market, and one such software is Turnitin. Does Turnitin detect ChatGPT? Can you outsmart Turnitin? How does Turnitin detect ChatGPT? This blog answers these questions and highlights other important theories that need to be known.

Turnitin and ChatGPT

Before diving into the technological complexities of how Turnitin detects ChatGPT, let us first understand what it exactly is:-

Turnitin is a widely used web-based plagiarism prevention software as a service website. It was founded in 1998, and it sells its licenses to universities and high schools to check the genuineness and originality of the content.

Turnitin majorly had three functions:

Firstly, it is a deterrent, discouraging plagiarism and promoting academic integrity among students.

Secondly, it generates comprehensive reports that aid in identifying potential instances of plagiarism, enabling educators to maintain the authenticity of academic work.

Lastly, Turnitin equips students with a valuable tool to self-assess their work, empowering them to recognize and rectify any inadvertent instances of plagiarism while enhancing their academic writing skills.

How do Turnitin and ChatGPT work?

Turnitin is a text-matching software that works by ‘matching’ the text submitted against its database containing an archive of internet documents, internet data, and a repository of submitted papers, periodicals, journals, and publications.

ChatGPT, on the other hand, is an NLP (Natural Language Processing) tool driven by AI. It allows you to have human-like conversations, answer creatively to your everyday questions, and assists in completing tasks.

Turnitin’s AI Technology

Using advanced AI detection technology, Turnitin can identify AI-assisted writing, including content generated by Chat GPT, among submitted works. By comparing submissions against an extensive database of previous submissions and online sources, Turnitin’s sophisticated system has been developed to detect AI-generated content. While Chat GPT produces unique responses based on input, Turnitin has diligently worked on enhancing its AI detection capabilities to identify AI-assisted writing, such as that generated by Chat GPT.

In the latest versions of Turnitin Feedback Studio, TFS with Originality, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity, Simcheck, and Originality Check, which were launched in April 2023, the inclusion of AI writing detection capabilities enables the generation of a similarity index and originality report, aiding in the identification of Chat GPT writing.

Turnitin offers two valuable components for submitted work analysis: the Similarity Index and the Originality Report.

The Similarity Index is generated by Turnitin’s software, which compares the submitted content against various academic, internet, and student paper content databases. This process identifies similarities and presents them as a percentage. The index indicates the extent of matched or potentially plagiarized content identified by Turnitin compared to other sources.

By examining the Similarity Index, students and educators can pinpoint specific sentences or phrases that match other sources. This allows for a thorough review and the opportunity to make necessary revisions to address any similarity concerns and ensure originality.

The Originality Report provides a comprehensive breakdown of the matched content, offering detailed insights into the sources detected by Turnitin. These sources can include articles, blogs, websites, books, and other materials previously submitted to Turnitin’s database.

However, it is essential to note that Turnitin’s detection of Chat GPT text may not be completely accurate.

Limitation of Turnitin

There are certain limitations to what Turnitin can match. It is designed to match the text in students’ work but cannot match images. Additionally, Turnitin may be unable to match work to websites requiring a login or restricting search engine access. While Turnitin regularly checks websites for updates, very recent updates may not be captured. Moreover, Turnitin cannot match text from textbooks unless they are publicly available in a digital format online.

Turnitin tends to show similarities at the sentence level or higher regarding matching text, meaning the matched portions don’t have to be exact replicas. In cases where you see smaller, fragmented matches, different parts of the student’s work match the same source. However, Turnitin does not show a fragmented match to a single source.

It’s important to understand that text matches in the Similarity Report do not automatically indicate plagiarism. The report simply highlights where some of the student’s text is similar to existing sources. Unoriginal text can include quotes or common language. Turnitin is a tool to assist you in identifying matching sources. However, whether plagiarism has occurred should be made after carefully examining the submitted work.

It’s worth noting that when Turnitin suggests a possible source for matching text, it may not always be the definitive source. Multiple websites may have identical text, and Turnitin presents what it considers the “best match” first.

How does Turnitin detect ChatGPT?

ChatGPT and other generative AI tools have revolutionized the way businesses work. From automating repetitive tasks to creating compelling copy, ChatGPT is a jack of all trades. But maybe a master of none!

Having used ChatGPT myself, I can tell you that even if businesses wanted, they could not entirely depend on ChatGPT, at least not for content needs.

Even though Chat GPT can produce unique responses based on input, Turnitin has been working hard to develop AI detection capabilities that can recognize AI-assisted writing and content created by tools like Chat GPT. ChatGPT is suitable for taking help while framing the content, and not for entirely copy-pasting it as it has certain limitations which help Turnitin detect ChatGPT written content:

  • Lack of originality:

ChatGPT is trained on a massive dataset of text and code, which means that it can sometimes generate content that is not original. This can be a problem if you seek unique and distinctive content.

  • Bias:

ChatGPT is trained on a dataset that reflects the biases of the internet. This means that the content it generates can also be biased. For example, ChatGPT may be more likely to generate content that is favorable to certain political viewpoints or that reinforces stereotypes.

  • Accuracy:

ChatGPT is not always accurate. It can sometimes generate content that is factually incorrect or misleading. This can be a problem if you use ChatGPT to generate content for research or other purposes where accuracy is essential.

  • Creativity:

ChatGPT is not always creative. It can sometimes generate content that is repetitive or unoriginal. This can be a problem if you are looking for engaging and thought-provoking content.

To answer the question, Can Turnitin detect ChatGPT? YES. ChatGPT is detectable. Software like Turnitin can detect ChatGPT-generated text, and this is how it does that:

Turnitin compares submitted work against a huge database of previously submitted works and online sources. This helps it identify AI-generated content.

In April 2023, Turnitin launched updated versions of its Feedback Studio, TFS with Originality, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity, Simcheck, and Originality Check. These new versions include AI writing detection capabilities that provide a similarity index and originality report designed to help detect Chat GPT writing.

However, it’s important to note that Turnitin’s current capability to detect Chat GPT text may not be entirely accurate.


In recent years, AI-powered writing tools have become increasingly widespread. So much so, that it is safe to say that AI is driving the future of content marketing. These tools can generate text that is indistinguishable from human-written text, which poses a challenge for plagiarism detection tools.

Turnitin has developed a new technology that can detect ChatGPT-generated content. This technology uses various methods to identify AI-written text, including how the text is structured, language use, and repetition patterns.

The ability to detect ChatGPT-generated content is a crucial step in the fight against academic dishonesty. Educators can ensure students create original work and uphold high standards in their assignments by effectively identifying AI-written content.

As technology advances, educational institutions and plagiarism detection tools must adapt and address new challenges. The development of new AI-powered writing tools is likely to continue, and plagiarism detection tools must be able to keep up with these changes.


Can you outsmart Turnitin?

To outsmart Turnitin’s detection, you can employ strategies like paraphrasing ChatGPT-generated content in your own words, altering sentence structures, utilizing synonyms, incorporating personal anecdotes or examples, and more. These techniques help ensure the authenticity of your work and outsmart AI detection tools such as Turnitin.

Is Turnitin free?

Using Turnitin is not entirely free. It requires signing up for a free account, and it’s important to note that your data may be collected for training future versions of the model. To create a free account, visit the designated page and click the “Sign up” option. You can register using your email or through a Google account.

How accurate is Turnitin?

Turnitin claims a high level of accuracy for its AI detection tool, stating a 98% confidence rate in detecting AI writing. This tool was introduced approximately five months after ChatGPT emerged, which debuted in November.

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