Can ChatGPT Be Detected? Pulling Back the Curtain on AI Detection Techniques

Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy

Creator and Co-founder

can chatGPT be detected

As artificial intelligence continues to advance, as more and more people incorporate AI tools into their content strategies, we have to ask: 

Can ChatGPT be detected? 🤖

This powerful AI-driven technology has raised concerns in various sectors, particularly academia and content creation.

If you use ChatGPT in your content production process, will you come out okay on the other end?

  • Will your readers notice? (63.5% of people thought ChatGPT text was written by a human in a recent survey — so maybe not. 🤷‍♀️)
  • Will your content still rank?
  • Does it even matter?

It’s time to talk about different methods for detecting ChatGPT-generated text and discuss their effectiveness.

We’ll dive into how universities are taking measures against using ChatGPT on assignments. We’ll also examine Content at Scale’s AI Detection Tool compared to other detection tools such as and Copyleaks.

Last but not least, we’ll address ethical concerns surrounding the use of ChatGPT.

Stay tuned as we unravel the complexities behind using and detecting ChatGPT-generated content.

Table of Contents:

Can ChatGPT Be Detected? AI Detection Tools for ChatGPT

So, can ChatGPT be detected in writing?

Well… sometimes.

With the rise of AI-generated content from tools like ChatGPT, various detection tools have been developed to identify whether a piece is written by an AI model.

Some AI detection tools such as’s and Content at Scale’s versions have shown success in detecting ChatGPT’s content, while others like AI Text Classifier struggle with accuracy.

However, as I tested each of these tools, all had mixed or inaccurate results at least once — so tread carefully, and don’t wholly rely on these tools to come to any hard and fast conclusions.

Remember, AI detection is flawed.

Often, the best ChatGPT detector is your human eye and gut. 🕵️

That said, here are the top free AI detection tools currently available. I checked all of them using a piece of text ChatGPT wrote about content marketing:

chatgpt-generated text on content marketing


The Writer platform has its own AI detector available to use for free. Just paste in your text or URL, and the tool will come back with a percentage score telling you how “human” the text is.

When I checked the ChatGPT output in this tool, it was dead wrong: It scored 87% human.

writer ai detector results

Content at Scale

Content at Scale’s AI detection tool is an excellent option in the space. This tool uses sophisticated algorithms to examine various linguistic aspects such as writing style, sentence structure, word choices, and more to identify whether a piece of text was created by an algorithm or a human writer.

This tool fared better than Writer at detecting ChatGPT — it scored the AI text 31%, or “Likely to be AI-generated.”

Note the helpful colored highlighting that tells you which parts of the text sound the most robotic:

content at scale AI detector results

But Content at Scale isn’t just an AI detection tool. That part is just a free bonus.

Instead, this is the SEO content writing tool that will streamline and speed up your content creation process 5-10x.

Sign up today using my link to get 20% free extra credits toward creating fantastic SEO blog posts with AI.

content at scale

AI Text Classifier

The AI Text Classifier comes from OpenAI itself, so you’d expect it to be the most helpful, right?

While it scored my ChatGPT text as “possibly AI-generated,” that’s all the information it gave me. No other helpful scores, tips for editing, or even a great user interface.

openai text classifier results

This tool is bare-bones, and not my top pick.


GPTZero works just like the other tools here: paste your text and hit a button to run the detector.

It also accurately detected my ChatGPT text:

gptzero - chatgpt detector results

However, the disclaimer under the result is a nice touch — it states directly that the results of the tool “should not be used to punish students.”

GPTZero openly admits that these types of detection tools are flawed. It gets an extra point for transparency.

Copyleaks AI Detector

The last free ChatGPT detector on our list is from Copyleaks, a plagiarism tool.

This tool accurately detected that our example text was, in fact, ChatGPT-produced. It scored the text as 89.6% probable for AI. It even highlighted the most suspect portion in red:

copyleaks ai content detector

This tool comes with a free Chrome extension, which is a nice plus if you want AI detection on the go.

In conclusion, it’s possible for ChatGPT to be detected by the current free detection tools on the market, but as AI technology advances, it may become more difficult. Collaboration between detection methods may be necessary to detect AI-generated content effectively.

However, in the future, we may not be worried about detecting AI content at all. More on that in this video:

How Universities Are Taking Measures Against Using ChatGPT on Assignments

We can’t talk about ChatGPT detection without addressing the issue this poses for schools, universities, and institutions.

When ChatGPT arrived, it immediately had educators worried because it is, in essence, the best essay writer and (B.S.-er) the world has ever seen.

For students who feel the need to cheat, the tool is like catnip.

Half of college students believe using AI writing tools like ChatGPT to complete assignments is cheating.

Another 41% say it’s morally wrong.

best colleges survey on student beliefs about ai

However, a minority (22%) admit to using AI tools to complete assignments and write essays.

Still, teachers and professors are worried.

In response to the rise of AI-generated content and potential cheating risks, many universities have started implementing stricter policies and leveraging tools like Turnitin to maintain academic integrity.

Turnitin is a leading plagiarism detection software provider for academia, and it has developed technology for AI detection as well. The company claims it can determine with 98% confidence whether an essay is produced by a chatbot or not.

Universities and institutions are so concerned about ChatGPT and AI tools, some even provide workshops for faculty members on how to spot artificially generated text within student submissions.

How Institutions Detect ChatGPT

  • Detection tools: Tools such as Turnitin can analyze patterns and language usage across multiple student-submitted papers to identify any unnoticeable secret signal indicating the use of GPT-based technologies.
  • Evaluating context: Educators may also examine the relevance and coherence of arguments presented in essays as another method for detecting the potential use of chatbots like ChatGPT.
  • Cross-referencing sources: Comparing cited sources among various papers might reveal similar or identical references that could indicate reliance on AI-generated content.

Rethinking the Education System Amid ChatGPT Concerns

In light of the increasing concerns about ChatGPT and similar tools, some experts suggest that it may be necessary to completely rethink the education system.

This would involve not only addressing potential harm caused by these technologies but also maximizing their educational benefits.

To achieve this, there could be a shift in focus from traditional methods of assessment towards more innovative approaches that embrace AI as a truly collaborative learning tool.

  • Emphasizing critical thinking: Encourage students to develop their analytical skills and problem-solving abilities rather than simply memorizing information or relying on AI-generated content.
  • Promoting collaboration: Foster teamwork among students through group projects and discussions, which can help them learn from each other’s perspectives instead of resorting to chatbots like ChatGPT.
  • Incorporating technology responsibly: Teach students how to use advanced tools effectively without compromising academic integrity. For example, students could leverage AI-powered platforms for research purposes but not as a means of completing assignments.

The key is striking a balance between embracing AI innovation and safeguarding against unethical practices from misusing or over-relying on AI. Ultimately, this approach may help foster a more progressive and adaptable learning environment for all.

Clues to Identify AI-Generated Texts and Detect ChatGPT

With the increasing use of AI-generated content like ChatGPT, it makes sense that businesses and academic institutions want to find ways to detect them.

However, you don’t always need a tool to spot AI-generated content. If you read the text carefully and look for these clues, you might be able to detect AI writing with the naked eye.

  • Anomalies in language usage: Look for inconsistencies or unusual phrasing that may indicate a lack of human touch. Weird, complex sentences are a hallmark of AI writing.
  • Lack of context: If a text seems disconnected from current events or lacks contextual understanding, it might be generated by an AI model.
  • Predictable patterns: Some artificially generated texts follow specific patterns or structures that could serve as telltale signs. For instance, many AIs have a tendency to write overly formal sentences. They may use big words where small ones would do (a KEY identifier of AI writing is, oddly enough, inserting some form of the word “utilize” everywhere. Look for it and you’ll see what I mean.)

Can ChatGPT Be Detected? Yes — For Now

The technology behind ChatGPT is astounding. It truly has the ability to produce text and content that sounds downright human.

However, at this point, we can still detect when the chatbot is the author. The free tools available on the market can do it fairly often, not to mention, humans with a practiced eye can recognize it without any tools whatsoever. 🔍


Will that change?

It might. This AI tech is only going to improve as time goes on. Someday soon, ChatGPT text — and any other AI-generated content — may be completely undetectable.

What then?

Instead of being frightened of this rapidly-changing landscape, you can learn how to pivot and adapt.

That’s at the core of my mentorship program, the Content Transformation System.

Inside, I teach you the skills, strategies, and systems to help build your business to last beyond trends, fads, and changing technology.

In fact, when AI exploded in content creation, I quickly updated the curriculum, lessons, and training in the program so CTS students were prepared and on top of it!

Ready to learn to embrace AI and leverage it for the explosive growth of your business? Apply today to become a Content Transformation System student.

content transformation system

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