How to Check If Content Is AI-Generated
  • 6-minute read
  • 2nd November 2023

How to Check If Content Is AI-Generated

Incorporating AI-generated content into your business’s marketing strategy has its benefits: you can dramatically accelerate your content production, and you can use the technology to support your existing writing and marketing teams. However, simply producing and publishing a high volume of AI-generated content aren’t enough. For AI-generated content to help grow your business effectively, it needs to reach your target audience and be high-quality, engaging, and authoritative. To accomplish these objectives, you must know how to recognize the most common problems with AI-generated content and how to address them. 

In this post, we’ll cover how to check whether content is AI-generated and why this issue matters for your business.

Why You Should Review AI-Generated Content

Although AI can help speed up your content production process, producing a high volume of content isn’t effective unless the content is reaching (and engaging) your target audience. 

Implementing an AI content strategy won’t necessarily damage SEO. According to Google’s Helpful Content Update, Google doesn’t penalize AI content specifically. However, content that’s repetitive, unoriginal, or contains misinformation will rank lower on SERPS, but unique, authoritative content will always rank higher.

So even if you use AI-generated content as part of your marketing plan, thoroughly editing the text so it meets the standards of quality prioritized by search engines is a good idea. And to edit AI content successfully so it aligns with your business’s objectives, you need to be aware of the typical patterns and signs that indicate content was AI-generated. Knowing exactly what to look for allows you to better refine the content prior to publication. 

Next, let’s discuss whether AI content detectors are as accurate as they claim to be and other ways you can check for AI-generated content.

Do AI Content Detectors Work?

AI content detection tools are specifically designed to identify AI-generated content. These tools are trained to detect patterns, language characteristics, or inconsistencies commonly associated with machine-generated text. 

Can you use this detection software to help you recognize whether content is AI-generated? The answer? Sometimes. 

Given that AI writing tools are a relatively new technology, content detection tools have difficulty determining, without a doubt, whether content is AI-generated. AI content detectors are typically trained on the same language models used to develop AI writing tools, so they’re able to recognize patterns and features in the text that are associated with AI and provide an overall “score” that lets you know how likely it is that the content was AI-generated. This is somewhat different from how plagiarism detectors work, namely by comparing a text to a large database of previously published material and scanning for exact matches or similarities.

What to Look for When Checking Whether Content Is AI-Generated

Although AI content detectors are not always reliable, they can help you flag areas in your content that need improvement and provide insights into the likelihood that content was generated by an AI model. In addition to these automated tools, you (or your editing team) can scan the content for the following issues. There’s no reliably foolproof way to determine whether content is AI-generated, but these issues can be helpful to keep in mind when you’re reviewing and editing your business’s content because they’re commonly found in AI-generated text. 

Repetitive or Redundant Words and Phrases

One of the most common attributes of AI-generated content is the repetition of words, phrases, and ideas. You may notice an abundance of “filler” phrases, such as in conclusion or it’s important to note that, or even redundant or repetitive sentences. Since the primary goal of tools such as ChatGPT is to address the query entered by the user, it may produce responses that repeat the same main ideas throughout the content (rephrasing them slightly). 

An Inconsistent Tone of Voice

Another hallmark of AI-generated content is an inconsistent tone of voice. Because AI tools aren’t capable of understanding context, you may find that responses awkwardly shift from one tone (e.g., formal) to another (e.g., casual) throughout the content. AI-generated content also tends to lack the personality found in text written by real humans, reflected in humorous or witty observations. And since they’re machine-powered, AI writing tools are trained to stay neutral and aren’t able to provide opinions or offer authoritative advice, so you won’t find any bold, definitive stances on a particular topic.

Predictable Sentence Structure

AI tools work by predicting the most likely next words or phrases, given the context provided. They do this by calculating probabilities for different word choices based on the user input and the patterns the tool has “learned” during its training. This focus on predictability can result in a somewhat repetitive structure. When reviewing content, be on the alert for sentences that lack variation in length, rely heavily on transitional words (e.g., however, moreover), or sound monotonous when read out loud.

Factual Errors

Because AI-generated responses are based on an analysis of a large database of previously published information, they can sometimes include factual errors. So if you notice an inaccuracy, such as an incorrect date, it could be a sign that the content is AI-generated. (Of course, human writers are also capable of factual errors, so such errors are not always a sign that the content is machine-generated.)

No Citations or References

AI writing tools generate content based on learned patterns and knowledge, but they do not have the capability to reference external sources, such as articles or websites. As a result, AI-generated content may not include citations or references to specific, credible sources. Alternatively, you may notice citations that are overly vague and avoid naming experts directly (e.g., phrases such as According to various sources…). 

How to Edit AI-Generated Text

Once you’ve determined the main issues with the AI content, you can take steps to edit the text to make it more usable and appealing to your target audience. Use resources such as your company’s style guide to ensure the content reflects your unique brand voice and preferred dialect guidelines. You can also incorporate individual customer reviews and testimonials to personalize the content and connect with potential customers. 

A skilled editor can fact-check the content and review it for unintentional biased language and general proofreading errors. They can also ensure that it reads smoothly and naturally by eliminating the somewhat “robotic” monotone that is often associated with AI writing.

Human Editing Services for AI Content

The most effective content marketing strategy is a collaborative approach – a combination of valuable human abilities and generative AI. 

Get the most out of your AI-driven content by having our expert team professionally proofread and edit it. Proofed’s AI editing services can help ensure you stay on the cutting edge of technology by maximizing your use of AI writing tools and growing your business’s reach. Schedule a call with our team to get started today.

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