Can you detect AI writing? With artificial intelligence now commonly used to enhance emails, marketing pitches, site content and even consumer conversations, the lines between authentic and generated content are becoming blurred.
ChatGPT now has over 100 million monthly active users. After bringing AI writing into the mainstream, the generative language model regularly assists a wide range of users, from students to business owners.
While AI-powered content tools have skyrocketed in popularity, so has the proliferation of AI content detectors. As we continue to question how to use AI ethically within our own content strategies, detectors serve a number of purposes. From exposing plagiarised pitches to analysing your own content tone and structure, AI detectors are an asset that all businesses should invest in.
With this in mind, let’s delve deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of using AI-generated in your business strategy and discover how you can detect AI writing using 4 handy tools.
What Is AI Writing?
AI content creation has certainly improved over the last few years. The language models that were once used to answer simple questions and perform repetitive tasks can now generate high-quality content that matches the standard of advanced human language.
Using intelligent language models such as ChatGPT, business leaders can now create professional-grade content for their websites, email campaigns and even social media platforms.
It’s no secret that the future of artificial intelligence is bright. In fact, Statista predicts that the AI industry could be worth up to $3.56 billion by 2025 alone.
(Image Source: Statista)
As the AI market grows, so do its uses across a range of industries. With dozens of AI-assisted content generation tools available, every niche can find a use for intelligent language models.
Whether you’re a blog writer looking to generate an eye-catching headline or an SEO specialist using AI to optimise your product descriptions, AI writing can be a great asset when used correctly.
Here are some of the ways you can use AI as a business:
- Written Content: From blogs to emails to social media captions, generative AI tools can assist you in creating optimised content for your target audience.
- SEO Optimisation: AI generators can help optimise your current content by quickly scanning the web to find the best keywords and phrases to add to your existing product descriptions and blog posts for enhanced search visibility.
- Predictive Maintenance: AI’s ability to interpret millions of data in seconds makes it the perfect predictive partner when it comes to forecasting industry trends/creating successful campaigns.
How Does AI Writing Software Work?
AI writing software can be used as both a content generation tool and an AI content detector. Utilising the powers of deep learning, AI content generators can leverage billions of online written materials and use this data to enhance their own natural language processing.
While this may sound like a new phenomenon, AI-generated writing software has existed in the background of our daily lives for years. If you’ve ever used ‘predictive text’ on your tablet or smartphone, you will have engaged with AI. Using AI, the predictive text follows the sentence you are typing and makes an educated guess based on the language, tone and structure of the text, email or caption you’re writing.
Modern-day content generators such as ChatGPT follow the same process at a much larger scale. Instead of scanning your text and predicting the next word, AI-powered language models can take a one-line content request and produce paragraphs of high-quality content!
For example, Open AI’s newest large language model, otherwise known as GPT-4, is now able to process and generate up to 75,000 words per minute, a similar length to a modern novel. To learn large language models, check out this article.
However, with a mass generation of automated content comes a number of ethical concerns. As search engines evolve, they are becoming better than ever before at detecting AI writing. The more a business artificially generates content, the more likely they are to be caught by an AI detector.
Before we jump into exactly how AI content detectors work, let’s have a closer look at the pros and cons of using AI writing in your business strategy first.
Advantages of Generative AI
Generative AI comes with a number of benefits for business leaders. When used correctly, it can singlehandedly boost productivity and the amount of traffic on your site.
Saving its users time and money on crafting original content, generative AI is a great tool to use to predict content trends, gather inspiration for blog topics and discover engagement-driving keywords.
Using AI as a writing partner rather than a writing replacement is a great way to keep AI content detectors off your back while still reaping the benefits.
Here are three key advantages associated with generative AI:
AI Writing Boosts Productivity
One of the most obvious benefits of using generative AI in your content strategy is productivity. AI writing tools produce content at double the speed of a human, saving you a great deal of time in the process.
AI writers not only handle content research and writing but are the perfect productive partners when it comes to optimising your existing content too. AI chatbots can provide feedback lists of popular keywords, generate traffic-attracting headlines and even analyse paragraphs of existing site content.
“I view AI positively because it helps boost employee productivity and operational workflows. For content creation, AI is used to ideate blog, social and webinar topics,” says Julian Hamood, President of the Trusted Tech Team.
AI can also enhance other areas of business productivity, such as programming and consumer support, with the average employee reporting a 66% boost in productivity when using AI-infused tech.
(Image Source: Nielsen Norman Group)
“For technical workflows, we’ve used AI to create a Python script, summarise meeting notes and more,” continues Hamood. “With AI’s benefits primarily during ideation, we always use a human touch to finalise our implementations.”
AI Writing Improves Content Optimisation
If you’re looking to move your business up amongst the SERPS, generative AI is a great SEO aid.
Quality content plays a vital role in your search engine success. In fact, in some cases, business leaders will outsource their SEO needs to a content marketing agency like Solvid in order to ensure that their existing content is well-optimised for success.
If your site content is optimised to appear in relevant searches, you’ll see your click-through rate increase and your brand awareness skyrocket, thus improving your chances of conversion.
AI writers are able to analyse your existing site content and evaluate its readability, keyword optimisation, structure and tone while also scanning for grammar errors.
Using a combination of AI writers and AI checkers, you can produce product descriptions, blog entries and metatext that are hyper-optimised to acquire target leads with ease.
AI Writing Adapts To All Audiences
Segmentation is essential when it comes to creating content that targets a widespread demographic. With the ability to adapt to a number of different audiences in seconds, AI writing platforms can aid a segmented content strategy with ease.
According to experts at Epilson, 80% of consumers are more likely to become qualified leads when faced with personalised content writing.
AI writers enhance real-time personalisation and can even rewrite the same piece of content in multiple languages, which is essential if you’re an international business.
Disadvantages of Generative AI
While AI writers may improve productivity, they can often have a negative impact on your business’s success when misused or used too frequently.
In the wake of the proliferation of AI content detectors, it has never been easier to detect AI writing, so it’s important to use generative AI as a helpful aid rather than a replacement for your content efforts.
Overusing AI content runs the risk of plagiarism, which could negatively affect your SEO score.
With this in mind, let’s have a closer look at some of the disadvantages of AI writing.
AI Writing Can’t Replace Human Emotion
AI writing platforms may be clever, but they can’t replace the human touch. While AI may be able to replicate new versions of existing content on the internet, it lacks the same level of originality and reasoning that personal experiences bring to the table.
Readers are twice as likely to gravitate towards content that speaks to an individual experience or story, which can therefore leave AI-generated content with a high bounce rate. If your consumers can’t connect to the words, they will quickly move on.
“I look at using AI to write content negatively. Original insights that come from reasoning, storytelling and personal experience are the secret sauce that has consistently ranked higher,” says Brian David Crane, CEO of Spread Great Ideas.
“What is hard to present when writing is not “data” but the human emotional connection that readers gravitate to, and personalisation, which AI cannot duplicate. This is why human-written content will always win!”
AI Writing Could Harm Your SEO
AI writing tools may be used to help optimise your written content for SEO purposes, but they should be used as a guide rather than a replacement.
As tools such as GPTZero and Originality.AI release ChatGPT detectors to detect AI text, it has never been easier for a consumer or a search engine to uncover plagiarism within a piece of generated content.
(Image Source: Career Addict)
Not only does AI-generated text lack originality, but it is often a close rework of existing content online.
“Using AI tools to write content can be super helpful. But my biggest fear of using it is the risk of plagiarism,” states Andrew Munro, CEO of AffiliateWP. “Since AI tools generate content based on preexisting content, the risk of duplicate content increases a lot. Google might penalise you for using such content on your site.”
If you’re worried about your own use of AI within your content strategy, it’s important to consult an SEO agency for more guidance on how to move up the SERPs organically.
AI Writing Lacks Creativity
Last but not least, one of the key disadvantages of overusing AI writing generators is the obvious lack of creativity. If you’re relying on a language model to regurgitate existing content, you’ll be left with blog posts, email campaigns and product descriptions that lack originality and do not encapsulate the individual voice of the brand.
If you do not have an original angle within the content strategy, you’ll fail to stand out amongst consumers, in turn losing authority as a business.
Instead, it’s important to use AI as a starting point rather than an end destination. It can be a great aid for writer’s block and even churn out some impressive topic suggestions, but it should make up 10% of your content strategy rather than 90%.
Can You Detect AI Writing?
If you’re worried about your own use of generative AI or are suspicious of a certain piece of content, it’s important to learn how to spot automated writing and detect AI content.
The question is, can you detect AI text? The answer is yes. Whether you use an online AI checker tool or simply hunt for automated clues such as repetitive language and a lack of human voice, there are plenty of ways to keep your content in check.
Stick with us as we jump into some of the easiest ways to detect AI writing manually and reveal some of the best content detector tools on the market
How To Detect AI Content Manually
The proliferation of AI content detector tools has made it easier than ever before to reveal automated or suspicious text in just a few clicks.
While AI detectors are getting more popular with business leaders, educators and marketing teams by the day, they can be pricey for those on a budget.
Did you know that there are actually ways to detect AI content manually? If you train your eyes to look out for automated content clues, you’ll be able to discover a piece of AI writing from a mile away.
Content Tone & Structure
One of the easiest ways to detect AI writing is to review the content’s tone and structure. When written by a human, a piece of content will often follow a structure similar to a conversation. This will be laid out with regular pauses, conversational language, and in most cases, is pretty easy to follow.
When it comes to AI-powered writing, however, you’ll find that the tone and structure of the piece are inconsistent and erratic. While AI platforms are able to string together sentences of grammatically correct language, they use association to determine specific word placement rather than following a conversational flow.
The output therefore appears strung together, or ‘robotic’, making it easy to spot. Take ChatGPT, for example, an easy way to detect AI content written by this platform is to look out for short sentences. While it can easily replicate human language, it struggles to generate complex sentence structures.
Another notable clue is the lack of understanding of phrases and metaphors. Take this great example on Twitter for instance:
(Image Source: Twitter)
Generative AI platforms such as Open AI struggle to replicate metaphors and phrases accurately and instead take each word literally. This is how the popular company ‘TicketMaster’ quickly became ‘Ticketing Giant’ in this funny AI fail.
Another easy way to spot AI writing is through the use of repetitive language.
When fed a prompt, generative AI platforms analyse the keywords within the question/request and produce a piece of content that is essentially ‘stuffed’ with the reception of a particular word/phrase.
Keyword stuffing is a prime cause of poor SEO. If the keyword is used too frequently within a piece of text, it is actually less likely to be well-regarded by a search engine, resulting in your site falling further down the SERPS.
Basic sentence starters and common connecting words are often overused in AI content too. Words such as ‘the’, “it”, and “is” are frequently used in replacement for more complex/rarer terms.
“If you have enough text, a really easy cue is the word ‘the’ occurs too many times,” says Daphne Ippolito, a senior research scientist at Google Brain.
A great way to detect the repetition of certain words is to manually highlight them when scanning a piece of text. If you’re struggling to detect AI text, visualising the repetition is a great giveaway.
Better still, Ippolito believes that a spelling mistake could also be a great indicator of humanistic content.
“language models very, very rarely make typos. They’re much better at generating perfect texts,” Ippolito says. “A typo in the text is actually a really good indicator that it was human-written.”
As a platform built on data, you’d imagine that ChatGPT was the most factually accurate writer on the planet. However, AI writers are quite the opposite.
When detecting AI content, one red flag to look out for is content accuracy. Generative AI may be trained on vast amounts of data, but it struggles to explain common situations that humans experience in real time.
For example, if you asked ChatGPT to recount the Battle of Hastings, it would provide you with a detailed account of the dates, times and outcome. However, when faced with a simple question such as ‘what to do when it rains?’
ChatGPT guesses and replies with ‘stay dry’ rather than suggesting rain-appropriate activities etc.
“One of the main limitations of current AI systems is their inability to understand context. AI is very good at recognising patterns and analysing data, but it lacks the ability to interpret meaning in the same way that humans can,” claim experts at AI Contentfy. “This can make it difficult for algorithms to identify sarcasm, irony, or other forms of figurative language that rely on context and cultural knowledge.”
Keeping this in mind can aid your manual AI detector strategy.
Another limitation associated with AI writers is algorithmic bias. AI systems are only as good as the data they are trained on. If that data is skewed or could be perceived as biased, the content the platform produces will be biased and inaccurate too.
A great way to detect AI text is to continually fact-check the content against multiple sources in order to ensure the piece is accurate and objective.
How To Detect AI Content With an AI Checker
If you have a larger budget, using a designated AI checker tool is a great way to speed up the content detection process.
Not only do AI content detectors have an 84% accuracy rate, but they save you the time of scanning suspicious text manually for potential errors.
The question is, how exactly do AI content detectors work? These clever tools are based on similar language models to our prime culprits, ChatGPT and Google Bard, and use this similarity to help detect potential AI writing.
Essentially, a content detector will analyse a piece of text and ask, “Is this similar to something I would write?” If the answer is “yes”, that suggests to the bot that the text has likely been generated using AI.
AI detectors also aim to analyse patterns within any text input. Using context to establish the likelihood of words or phrases accompanying each other, detector tools can work out if a writing pattern is predictable and, therefore, AI-generated.
With this in mind, let’s have a look at some of the best AI detector tools on the market.
4 AI Detector Tools To Try In 2023
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to picking the best AI detector for you. Depending on your budget and your individual needs, it’s important to select a tool that is both accurate and includes the specific features you are looking for.
For example, if you’re dedicated to uncovering suspected plagiarism, AI detection tools such as CopyLeaks could be the strongest contender. Alternatively, if you’re focusing on ChatGPT-specific content, Open AI specialist, Originality.AI could be your go-to.
While there are many AI checkers currently on the market, here are 4 of our top picks for any budget in 2023.
Using GPTZero As An AI Checker
If you’re looking for a fast-access AI checker, GPTZero is about the best on the market. What separates this AI detector from its competitors is its real-time precision. Unlike other decor tools on the market, GPTZero does not rely on superficial markers. Instead, it offers a reliable detection based on deep learning algorithms.
When you open up GPTZero, you’ll find that their basic AI checker is right on their homepage and is free to test small amounts of content. Even their basic content detector can recognise AI writing from ChatGPT, GPT3, GPT4 and Bard. This makes it a perfect partner for a speedy content analysis.
(Image Source: GPTZero)
Once you input your content, GPTZero takes just a few seconds to reveal the results of your AI detection. Highlighting the content that is most likely to be AI-generated, the tool then gives you an AI percentage score and a brief rundown of which sentences are automated.
(Image Source: GPTZero)
Better still, GPTZero also offers a Chrome extension called ‘Origin’. This is not only free to download but is useful for detecting AI on the go. If you’re searching for an AI detector on a budget, GPTZero is a great option for detection beginners and small businesses.
Using CopyLeaks As A Plagiarism Checker
If your main goal is to detect plagiarism within a piece of content, CopyLeaks is a great plagiarism scanner as well as an AI checker.
This handy tool supports GPT 4 and ChatGPT and has two model levels to choose from, basic and enhanced.
The basic version works in a similar way to GPTZero by providing you with the option to input your suspicious content for free for an analytics report in just a few seconds. This report details what percentage of the content is AI-generated while also highlighting accuracy errors and potential plagiarism. CopyLeaks even offers a separate plagiarism scanner to its basic users, which not only detects copied content but displays source results in a well-detailed report.
(Image Source: CopyLeaks)
For those with a larger budget, CopyLeaks also offer an enhanced, paid version of their service starting at $9.16/month. This includes an in-depth plagiarism scan against more than a trillion content sources, a fully interactive Similarity Report with each scan and clever API integration, which allows larger businesses to scan lots of documents in a short amount of time.
Using Originality.AI As A ChatGPT Detector
Rating itself as the number one ChatGPT detector, Originality.AI is no stranger to the AI content detector market. Priding itself on its 99% accuracy rates, this is a great tool to choose if you’re looking to invest in a long-term content detector.
(Image Source: Originality.AI)
One of the tool’s most highlighted features is its ability to detect AI writing from a number of renowned platforms such as ChatGPT, Bard and GPT 4. Like CopyLeaks, it also has an advanced plagiarism detection feature that points users straight to the source of the text.
(Image Source: Originality.AI)
The element that sells this tool in particular, though, is it’s seamless user interface. With the ability to connect directly to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, it’s a great collaborative tool for the entire team to interact with when working on new pieces of content.
Now comes the price of this impressive AI content detector. Originality.AI functions based on a credit system. This means that rather than a monthly fee, users are charged a credit ($0.01) for checks on every 100 words. This may seem like a low-cost option, but for businesses scanning hundreds of documents daily, this price soon ramps up.
If you’re a content publisher or an academic institution aiming to eradicate plagiarism, then this tool is an invaluable asset. However, for new starters, there are cheaper options available online.
Using Content At Scale As A Free AI Detector
For those of you looking for a reliable AI text detector on a budget, look no further. Content At Scale is a great choice for those just starting their journey with an AI checker tool.
While Content At Scale is a free tool, it doesn’t hold back. With the ability to test 25,000 characters (4,000 words) at once, it’s the perfect aid when it comes to analysing suspicious content.
Better still, Content At Scale provides users with line-by-line results, revealing the probability of AI detection and even which generative AI platform has been discovered.
(Image Source: Content At Scale)
This tool is great for those with no prior knowledge of AI writing. With a helpful explanation and breakdown of its detection process in the right-hand corner, even beginners can use this AI checker with ease.
The Future Of AI Writing
With 3 out of 5 workers currently using or planning to use generative AI, the probability of coming across AI-powered content online is increasing. While generative AI may improve workflow productivity and provide optimisation guidance for new businesses on the block, a boom in the use of platforms like ChatGPT could see a future of plagiarism and lack of originality within the content we consume.
Moving forward, generative AI platforms themselves plan to lock down on the misuse of AI content.
Take Open AI, for example, the company behind the famous generative bot that is ChatGPT. They claim to currently be working on ‘watermarking’ their content in order to allow AI detectors and even search engines to discover AI content even more easily.
This invisible watermark proposes to remain viable to detectors if the AI text is edited, according to developers at Open AI.
“We want it to be much harder to take [an AI system’s] output and pass it off as if it came from a human,” says computer science professor Scott Aaronson from the University of Texas.
“Empirically, a few hundred tokens seem to be enough to get a reasonable signal that, yes, this text came from [an AI system]. In principle, you could even take a long text and isolate which parts probably came from [the system] and which parts probably didn’t.” Aaronson claims. “[The tool] can do the watermarking using a secret key, and it can check for the watermark using the same key.”
As we step into a new era of artificial intelligence, it’s clear that as generative AI platforms evolve, so do the AI detectors deciphering between what is human and what is automated.
Whether you plan to use one of the content detection tools above or choose to manually scan for AI writing, it’s imperative that AI checking becomes a regular component of your content strategy.