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Use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) detection tools in Turnitin  

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Yesterday (4 April), Turnitin launched an AI Writing Detector Capabilities (AIWDC) tool they have developed to identify if a student has used an AI chatbot, such as ChatGPT or GPT3 in their writing. 

Unfortunately, they have been unable to provide a satisfactory explanation about how the tool works, or how its quoted levels of accuracy have been calculated. We have also not been given any chance to test out the functionality or understand how reliable it is.  

The timing of this release at the start of the assessment period is particularly problematic and, combined with the lack of detail regarding accuracy measurements and how the tool works, does not allow enough time to robustly assess the tool, prepare appropriate guidance and training or assess the implications for policy. 

We have decided, along with the majority of UK universities, to opt out of the first release of the detection tool. Opting out of the first release of this tool now will not prevent us from enabling this function in the future but will give us time to test the technology and to fully consider the implications for our staff and students. 

Kind regards, 

April and Ian 

Professor April McMahon  
Vice-President Teaching, Learning and Students 

Dr Ian Hutt 
Head of Digital Learning 

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