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Writing Skills

Updated: 01 Jul 2023

Posted By: Mark

Although Turnitin, one of the most famous education tools, is 98% accurate in detecting wrongdoings, Australian Universities are confused about whether or not it is apt for detecting AI content.

Turnitin, one of the most famous tools that can accurately detect plagiarism in assignments and other written documents, recently launched another feature that claims to detect AI with 98% efficacy rates. Universities like Western Sydney University, The University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales have already accepted the tool, and many of them have even considered permanently using this tool in their detection program!

Figure 1: A pictorial representation explaining that Turnitin has launched a new feature in their tool i.e. AI detection

A lot of other universities claim that the tool has been rushed, and that raises some kind of alarm in order to fully accept this new change in the tool.

Trish McCluskey, a digital learning professor at Deakin University, stated that, despite the high-efficiency rate of the Turnitin tool, turnitinhad not got the opportunity to give the tool a try and make comments on any of the allegations. He also added that the education providers are quite concerned about the use of the tool as the developers have made use of outdated generator models to trust the accuracy of the same.

The University of Sydney, for this fact, has also declined the use of the AI detection feature in the tool without even testing the accuracy of the same. As per the news article written by Caitlin Cassidy, One of the spokespersons from the university stated that AI can help students learn.

The University of WOLLONGONG stated that the Ai feature of the Turnitin tool was launched with a number of issues and very promptly in the market. The spokesperson also believes that these issues need to be resolved before releasing its products on the market!

We would highly recommend those changes to happen soon so that we can use the tool with confidence and believe in its effectiveness, the spokesperson added.

Following the age of technology, Universities like UoW have already updated their policy of integrity and have passed a statement telling students they can use tools like ChatGPT with acknowledgment. This allows the students to make use of AI tools while working on their assessments along with the integration of the same into teaching.

Figure 2: Pictorial representation of the elements in Turnitin

Many universities have followed in the footsteps of UoW and believe that students can make use of tools like ChatGPT to learn more from their curriculum.

The Global head of Turnitin’s AI team has a comment to make. Eric Wang stated that the AI feature of the tool provides the learner with a degree of detection based on the way an AI writing system can work. He also added that the tool could easily detect high-probability words in the same way a device can predict text messages on the phone.

He added in the end that he strongly feels that their team succeeded in bringing the best of what is in the market right now!

According to the reports, a spokesperson from Western Sydney University said that,” Advancement in technology, especially AI, has focused a lot on changing the nature of the students and still continues to do the same when we talk about their skills, education needs and future practices regarding the same!”

People should not think that AI is always going to be the threat to the system; instead, try and accommodate it as a part of our approach to utilize generative AI ethically.”

UNSW has a different perspective on this topic and says that they have provided the tool to their staff so that it can be used as one of the ways to keep a check on the unauthorized use of AI but added that the change of design in an assessment is still the best way to limit the use of AI content in the assessments.

They added that students should not depend on technology in an excessive manner and should utilize their knowledge and work independently on their projects.

An expert in the AI sector, Professor Toby Walsh, mentioned that it is okay for universities to think twice and be cautious about the tool’s feature as it particularly focuses on the detection of content that is specifically generated via AI tools and no other plagiarism tool, leaving room for error.


Change comes with time, and everyone in the education sector is still adapting to technological changes. Everything has its pros and cons, but the best way to carry on using the technological aspect in an efficient way. The process simply begins with awareness along with the understanding of why we need this technological evolution in our lives!

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