Incident 572: Alleged False Accusation of AI-Generated Essay by Turnitin

Description: A student was allegedly falsely accused of using AI to generate an essay assignment based on Turnitin's AI detector. The student, who claims to have written the essay by hand, also claims to have received a zero for the assignment. Despite multiple appeals to the professor, department head, and Turnitin support, no resolution seems to have been reached. The student claimed to be considering taking the issue to local news networks if the grade would come to harm their final standing.


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Alleged: Turnitin developed an AI system deployed by Unspecified university, which harmed Anonymous student.

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Daniel Atherton

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LinkedIn post: Timnit Gebru · 2023

We received this heartbreaking email by someone who is falsely being accused of using "AI" to generate an essay and was given ZERO on their assignment. How many people's lives are being ruined like this? This should be unacceptable.



A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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