How To Tell If Something Was Written By ChatGPT

ChatGPT has taken the world by storm with its ability to generate human-like text on demand about virtually any topic. However, this powerful AI’s capabilities also raise concerns about misuse for generating fake news, plagiarism, spam etc.

So how can you discern whether a piece of writing was actually authored by a human vs created by ChatGPT?

In this blog post guide, we dive deep on ways to identify how to tell if something was written by ChatGPT through linguistic analysis, common AI mistakes, detection tools, and more. We also explore the implications and outlook for its future.

Let’s get started uncovering the telltale signs of this remarkable generative AI!

How Does ChatGPT Work?

ChatGPT is built upon a transformer architecture that uses machine learning to generate text based on the data it has been trained on.

When given a prompt, it computes the most likely subsequent words or sentences, creating text that closely mimics human language.

The model does not understand the text it generates but relies on statistical patterns to produce relevant and coherent responses.

Read More: Can You Sell AI Generated Art: How to & Where

How To Tell If Something Was Written By ChatGPT

Image Credit: ChatGPT

Here are some telltale signs that a piece of text may have been generated by ChatGPT rather than authored by a human:

Lack of a Distinct Voice

Writings lack a unique voice or personality, often feeling bland, generic and impersonal.

Absence of Personal Experiences

Does not invoke personal experiences or emotions the way humans naturally do. Writings feel detached and impersonal.

Overly Formal Tone

Tends to use stuffy, overly formal language and a stiff academic tone devoid of colloquialisms.

Lack of Topic Mastery

Fails to demonstrate deep mastery or expertise on niche topics a real subject matter expert would possess. Writings stay surface-level.


Struggles maintaining full coherency and continuity when generating long multiparagraph texts. Contradictions arise.

Overuse of Quotes

Heavily quotes external sources verbatim rather than paraphrasing organically using its own synthesized understanding.

Canned Responses

At times, repeats the same canned responses, platitudes, and examples across multiple writings especially for common prompts.

Analyzing these linguistic patterns provides clues into whether a human or ChatGPT authored a piece of text.

Common Mistakes Made By ChatGPT

ChatGPT also makes some typical AI errors to watch out for:

  • Providing plausible but sometimes inaccurate or made-up facts
  • Getting stumped by complex questions and going off topic
  • Generating nonsense text when pushed beyond its limits
  • Plagiarizing sources it was trained on when unsure of originality
  • Repeating phrases or losing track of context during long responses
  • Hallucinating confidence about non-existent books/events/people when pressed for details
  • Devolving into repetitive loops when asked to explain its reasoning

Humans inherently recognize these kinds of blunders as distinctly non-human while reading. Flagging improbable facts, inconsistencies, gibberish text and verbatim plagiarism helps expose ChatGPT’s synthetic origins.

Is ChatGPT Detectable By AI Detection Tools?

Yes and no. Traditional plagiarism checkers like Turnitin rely on spotting text copied verbatim from existing sources. Since ChatGPT generates novel text, these tools cannot detect it.

However, newer AI-driven text analysis tools are emerging to distinguish statistically optimized machine text from human writing:

  • Pattern analyzers – Check for repetition, self-contradictions, staying on topic etc. that humans inherently avoid.
  • Stylometry – Analyze semantic and vocabulary patterns that differ based on whether humans or AI systems composed the text.
  • Comprehension testing – Ask follow up questions only humans with true understanding could contextually answer.
  • Generative classifiers – ML models trained to classify human vs. AI writing by identifying subtler linguistic differences.

Over time and training on samples, these AI-based detectors will likely improve significantly at identifying machine-generated text.

Tools to Help Identify ChatGPT Generated Text

Here are some existing tools that can help analyze text and determine the likelihood of it being AI-generated:

  • Giant Language Model Test – A suite of competency tests to expose ChatGPT-like models’ lack of true comprehension.
  • GLTR – Classifier tool highlighting statistical differences between human and AI writing styles.
  • JASPER – Analyzes upto 1000 syntax features using learning models to detect AI text.
  • Wordtune – Online editor flags disjointed text, lack of clarity etc symptomatic of AI generation.
  • QuillBot – Its new AI Text Classifier warns when text appears suspiciously synthetic.

While not foolproof yet, linguistic analysis tools like these demonstrate the potential for reliably identifying text from generative AI systems like ChatGPT.

The Future of ChatGPT

Looking ahead, generative AI will keep advancing rapidly, leading to disruptive economic and societal changes:

  • Exponential improvements in coherence, accuracy, knowledge and human-like conversational abilities using models like GPT-4.
  • Proliferation of synthetic media including AI-generated text posing risks of misuse for fraud, propaganda etc.
  • Emergence of new creative industries based on AI-generated content, media and design.
  • Shifts in information provenance, trust and quality requiring improved validation mechanisms.

The path forward requires ethical oversight, responsible usage, social awareness and adapting policies to responsibly integrate these technologies while minimizing harm.

Read More: Best Browser For ChatGPT: Safe & Performance


ChatGPT is a powerful tool capable of generating text that is increasingly similar to human-written content. While identifying ChatGPT-generated text can be challenging, understanding its common mistakes and using specialized AI detection tools can make it easier.

As AI continues to advance, keeping abreast of these developments will become increasingly important for discerning the origin of digital content.

FAQ: How To Tell If Something Was Written By ChatGPT

Q: How Does ChatGPT Work?

A: ChatGPT uses a transformer architecture and machine learning to generate text that closely mimics human language, based on data it’s been trained on.

Q: What Are the Signs Text Was Generated by ChatGPT?

A: Common signs include lack of a unique voice, overly formal tone, surface-level expertise, and contradictions in long multiparagraph texts.

Q: What Mistakes Does ChatGPT Commonly Make?

A: ChatGPT can provide inaccurate facts, go off-topic, generate nonsensical text, plagiarize, and sometimes lose track of context in long responses.

Q: Can AI Detection Tools Identify ChatGPT-Generated Text?

A: Traditional plagiarism tools can’t, but newer AI-driven tools like pattern analyzers and generative classifiers are getting better at identifying machine-written text.

Q: What is the Future Outlook for ChatGPT?

A: Generative AI like ChatGPT will advance rapidly, affecting industries and posing ethical challenges like risks of misuse for fraud and propaganda.

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