It’s hard to avoid the chatter about the enormous impact the use of chatbots within generative AI is having on the craft of writing. Depending on your situation, there could be many reasons why you might want to know how AI detectors work. As a student, maybe you’ve experimented with tools like ChatGPT or Jasper to help with your writing or schoolwork and are wondering how they function. Or perhaps you work in a field like academia, journalism, digital content creation, or another sector that requires you to be able to identify AI-generated content.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how AI detectors go about identifying chatbot-generated content by looking at how chatbots create text, how that text might be detected, different types of AI detectors, and what makes them different from traditional plagiarism detectors.
Before we begin, we must stress that AI chatbots and AI detectors are rapidly developing technologies. Their accuracy is evolving, as are the policies regarding their use in academic and industry sectors. Be sure to check with the regulations in place at your institution for guidance on the creation and submission of AI-generated content. Now let’s dig in!
How Do Chatbots Generate Text?
First off, it’s helpful to understand how chatbots generate text. To put it simply, they use computer programs that are trained to understand and respond to human language. Here’s a basic explanation of how this works:
Input: When you type a message or question to a chatbot, the text you enter is the input.
Understanding: The chatbot’s software analyzes the input text to figure out how to respond to your request. It looks for keywords, sentence structure, and context to understand the meaning behind your words.
Response generation: Once the chatbot understands your input, it uses a combination of pre-written responses and patterns it has learned from a large dataset of text (which it would have been trained on) to generate a relevant response. Think of these pre-written responses as phrases or sentences that can be put together like building blocks to form text.
Personalization: Some chatbots are designed to be more personalized, so if you’ve previously shared information about yourself, it might consider this to tailor its response.
Output: The chatbot then generates a text message as a response to your input and displays it on the screen.
Iterative process: This process repeats with each message you send, and the chatbot continuously refines its responses based on the conversation flow and your interactions.
Chatbots don’t think or understand in the way humans do but are programmed to mimic natural conversation to the best of their capabilities. Although their replies are based on pre-programmed answers, chatbots are constantly refining their responses based on the context, and it’s likely that you won’t get the same answer twice (and may even get a wrong answer!).
How Do AI Detectors Detect AI-Generated Content?
As mentioned above, AI chatbots generate responses based on pre-written answers and patterns they’ve learned from a large dataset of text. AI detectors are trained using the same types of datasets as AI chatbots. These detectors take the text in question, break it down, and see if it has similar patterns to the type of text it would generate itself. A major aspect of creating AI content is predicting which word comes after the word(s) preceding it. For example, it could be that the words:
Have a nice ____.
This could be followed by:
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Have a nice day. (43%)
Have a nice life. (7%)
Have a nice lunch. (11%)
In this case, “day” would have the highest chance of being the predicted next word. Although this is a simple example, you can see how AI content generators build sentences, paragraphs, and essays by applying this strategy. AI detectors also work off the premise that AI content often possesses telltale characteristics such as repetitive words and a lack of semantic understanding. If an AI detector finds that the text exhibits similar patterns or characteristics, it was likely generated by AI!
How Are AI Detectors Different From Plagiarism Detectors?
Although the terms “AI detector” and “AI plagiarism detector” are often used interchangeably, they fundamentally differ from traditional plagiarism checkers. Plagiarism checking (or content similarity checking) looks for matches within the text in question to a reference collection. Sometimes, traditional plagiarism detectors can flag content created by AI. But rather than solely looking for exact matches in the text, AI detectors look for patterns and characteristics that denote AI-generated content.
Using an AI text generator can be a useful tool to help jumpstart some of your assignments. However, if you’re interested in having a human expert assist you with editing and proofreading, check out our AI content editing service. You can even try a sample of our services for free. Best of luck with all your writing!