Five Tips for Avoiding Being Falsely Accused of AI Use

AI, Writing

5th October 2023

Speak right now to our live team of English staff

When writing an academic paper, you may contemplate using AI to ease your workload. However, knowing that universities use screening mechanisms to penalise AI-generated content may make you worried. The potential risk of being detected and penalised may deter you from using this approach. Yet, the apprehension doesn’t end here. Even without the use of AI, you can find yourself falsely accused of its use, as discussed in the previous post. This post will explore five tips for avoiding being falsely accused of AI use.

1. Follow university guidance on AI use

Most universities have guidelines on acceptable AI use. In the context of academic writing, this may include restrictions on using AI for developing ideas, generating essays, and proofreading your work, as these could undermine the development of your critical thinking. Be aware of these guidelines and make sure you communicate your understanding of them if somebody wrongly suspects you of AI use.

2. Keep artefacts of your writing process

When you write an academic paper, you’ll naturally brainstorm to come up with the right ideas. You’ll probably have to write and change your paper a few times before it’s finished. A great way to protect yourself from being accused of using AI is to keep your brainstorming notes, drafts, and revisions. These materials are proof that you did the work yourself. Keep these and show them to your professors if they falsely accuse you of AI use.

3. Follow content requirements

 Your professor will give you clear requirements that your academic paper must fulfil. Usually, these requirements are quite specific and you are graded based on your ability to meet them. Note that AI cannot fully comply with such detailed requirements. By ensuring that you meet them in full, you can substantiate the authenticity of your work, differentiating it from content generated by AI.

4. Cite AI use

If you decide to use AI for some aspect of your academic paper, such as generating facts or theoretical information, be sure to cite it! Current guidelines state that information generated by AI should be formatted as personal communication, such as by including “(OpenAI, personal communication, January 1, 2023)” as an in-text reference. If you include an in-text reference of this kind, you will protect yourself from being penalised for AI use and falsely suspected of using it to write the whole text.

5. Make sure your writing style stands out

An academic paper written by you will be in your own style and voice. This unique voice and style will run through all papers you have submitted to a university. To avoid being falsely accused of AI use, ensure that your writing style and voice are evident in your work. Your professor can then compare your new paper to the ones you wrote previously and conclude that the work was indeed produced by you.

A key message

In the era of increased use of AI detection, you may get easily accused of having used AI even though this accusation is false. This is because AI detection is unreliable and results in high false positive rates. This blog post offered valuable advice for protecting yourself from these baseless accusations and demonstrating the genuineness of your work. In our next post, we will explore five tips for using AI responsibly when writing without engaging in dishonest practices.