Using AI to Scrub for AI

Worried about students’ misuse of ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence text-generator that launched two months ago? We all are. 

Happily, and combined forces and just launched AI Writing Check, a free and easy-to-use site to help educators detect AI-generated writing.

I ran AI Writing Check through its paces and the service is, if not perfect, really good. The site states that “this tool is accurate 80-90% of the time,” and that clocks with my experience after running a dozen or so narrative and argument pieces through the filter. The creators also advise educators to use this AI scrubber as a tool, not a sword. A positive flag should be a plagiarism conversation starter (free template on page 4 of this PDF), not a condemnation. 

Just as I did with’s plagiarism checker back in the day, I would model a demo of this with my students to show them that their teacher knows the same hacks they know. Other strategies to help side-step plagiarism problems include gathering an in-class no-tech writing sample in the first week of class and building more in-class writing assignments into your curriculum, like Crazy Essay Week (click here for free materials)

I’m no AI expert and I’ve tinkered with ChatGPT for only about 20 hours, but I’m open to hosting the conversation. What are you experiencing with ChatGPT? Any horror stories? Solutions? I’m all ears. 

Robot photo licensed via CanvaPro.

4 thoughts on “Using AI to Scrub for AI

  1. I don’t know the answers, but my students are in the middle of a research paper. When we had the plagiarism talk, we also had the AI talk. I explained that I know how they write (with evidence in portfolios) and how my job is to help them improve and how grading work created by a bot is a complete waste of my time. I’m reminded of the poster that says something like, CHARACTER—the choices you make when no one is watching. Thanks for the resources to combat AI generated writing.

  2. Thanks, Crystal, for your always-thoughtful comments and approach. It sounds like you’re doing it right. I’d add a live-demo of this scrubber to at least show them, in a good-natured way, that you know what they know, too. At the end, though, we do the best we can and that’s all we can do.

  3. Is resisting AI the right strategy in the classroom or is embracing it?

    Curious to know your thoughts as I am just a random tech enthusiast who found your post on Pinterest. I have a 4 year old and a 6 year old.

    50 years ago one might have expected kids to do long devision by hand. Now calculators are fine.

    Spelling was hard until spell check.

    Writing and penmanship was a challenge until word processing.

    Research was hard until the internet.

    My point is that it’s never been the right strategy to hold on to the learning methods/teaching methods in the classroom.

    If knowledge will be in the cloud, and accessible via AI, then why is teaching kids to do it the hard/traditional way beneficial to them?

    Not trying to be combative just curious

  4. Hey, Lucas, I don’t take this to be combative at all. It’s a great question. Yes, teachers are wise to embrace AI as yet another tool to help students master the skills they’ll need beyond graduation. Add AI to the writer’s toolbox! Foundational skills, much of what we’re teaching in secondary English classes, still need to be mastered in order for our writers to make the most of the shortcut tools. That’s how I’m thinking about this. To me, AI text-generators will be to writers what calculators are to mathematicians – a tool to save time. The user, though, still needs a solid understanding of the baseline skills and the discernment to know which tool is the best fit for which job.

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