August 2023 Update - AI Writing Check is no longer available
👋 Educators, we have taken down AI Writing Check because the new versions of Generative AI tools are too sophisticated for detection by AI. When we launched this tool in January 2023, the only Generative AI tool available was ChatGPT. There are now a series of different tools available, and each of these tools is being upgraded weekly. As these tools make their AI more complex, the AI text output becomes more varied, and it becomes more difficult for algorithms to detect whether a piece of writing was generated by AI.
As a result, OpenAI has taken down their algorthim. We were hosting the algorthim created by OpenAI, and we are now taking this algorthim down as well.
However, there is an alternative approach for educators to understand their students’ writing: check the version history. We recommend this piece, by Dave Sayers, that describes this approach:
“[The] answer lies in a somewhat obscure feature of Google Drive: the “version history”. Pick any file you’ve worked on in Google Drive, then click on File > Version History > See Version History, and you’ll be presented with a detailed log of all changes made to that file. If it’s been edited by different people, you’ll also see which user made each change. Microsoft Office seems to have a similar feature, too. Click into the details in that log and you’ll see every little sentence you added, every typo you corrected, every awkward passage you rephrased or deleted. It’s really remarkably useful as a writing aid, not to mention a way to recover stuff you actually wish you hadn’t deleted. But it also leaves a very particular – and very human – trail of writing.If a student actually does the writing themselves, they will similarly write things, move things around, add bits, delete bits; all the usual meandering manoeuvres of human writing. And all of that will appear in the version history, indelibly timestamped and tagged per user.
If, on the other hand, it was written for them – either by a machine or indeed by an old-fashioned human ghostwriter – then they would receive a completed text, which they could then only copy and paste all at once into the document. Even if they went to the trouble of manually typing out a provided text, the version history would simply show them typing it out word by word from start to finish. No human writes that way.”
Educators, we created a toolkit to help you talk about AI plagiarism with your students
With the introduction of this new technology, students are curious about how to use it. We believe that if students use AI tools as research tools, and properly cite it as a source, it can help students learn about new ideas. However, when students pass off AI generated writing as their own, they are not engaging in the critical process of building their own writing skills. To help you set the right expectations with your students and navigate these conversations, we created a toolkit.
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We created AI Writing Check to support strong writing education for students
Quill.org & CommonLit are nonprofit educational technology organizations dedicated to helping 3rd - 12th grade students become stronger writers. Quill.org provides writing activities that use AI to provide students with immediate feedback and coaching, enabling them to continually revise their work and build their skills. CommonLit provides interactive reading and writing activities, and a full English Language Arts curriculum to support literacy development in grades 6-12.
Quill.org and CommonLit deeply believe that every student needs to be a strong writer to succeed in school and careers, and technology can help build these writing skills. To achieve this mission, both of our nonprofits provided our activities for free to all educators and students.
Funders, technologists, and journalists: support our mission to build writing skills for millions of underserved students
As nonprofit, open-source organizations, we are funded by donors who support our missions to build reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. Technologists, support Quill.org and CommonLit's open source initiatives. Journalists, reach out to learn more about our impact on students.
- Nonprofit foundations, reach out to learn more about our organizations impact underserved students
- Technologists, reach out to us if you are interested in contributing to our open-source projects.
- Journalists, reach out to us to learn more about how Quill & CommonLit help millions of students across the United States.
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