AI-powered Plagiarism: Preventing the End of Originality

A digital illustration of a humanoid robot seated at an ancient wooden desk, its metallic fingers poised above a quill pen, with scrolls and books sca

Artificial intelligence (AI) in the publishing industry has been around for more than a decade,but it’s only in the last couple of years that it’s evolved from simple reports to being capable of a wide range of complex tasks – from content production to fact-checking. 

Now, AI tools can be used to model data, analyse performance and create human-like content, be that imagery or written word. These advancements have naturally had a huge impact on digital publishing, with Buzzfeed and Forbes among the world’s largest publishers adopting AI within their content production. Forbes unveiled Bertie, which has helped the US company double its traffic, while Buzzfeed has used AI to create quizzes, leading to a 40% increase in on-page engagement. 

Since the release of ChatGPT in November 2022, and its natural language processing capabilities (NLP), publishers quickly jumped on the technology to increase content production and drive efficiency. Thanks to AI creating content quickly, this allowed publishers to downweight teams or hand over more menial tasks to an AI. Writers would become editors, proof-reading and ‘humanising’ AI content, policing their media company’s tone of voice and values. But it is here where the danger lies.

While automated content creation can save time and streamline certain areas of a business, an overreliance on this tool will bring with it some problems. For starters, if all publishers are using AI, then it becomes harder for media outlets to have an original, unique tone of voice. It also throws up huge questions about ‘where the content is coming from’, with plagiarism becoming more of a risk. 

Should websites publish content from other sites without permission that has been plagiarised, this can lead to DMCA Takedowns, a decrease in search engine rankings and ultimately the website’s removal from the SERP – not to mention being blacklisted by advertising suppliers (SSPS). Copyright add 

As well as originally, the overreliance on AI could damage the website’s brand and diminish the ‘reason to care’ that typically drew readers to the outlet. Trust, too, is vitally important. According to researchers from the University of Oxford and the  University of Minnesota, there is clear fear that the use of AI erodes trust with the readership – compounded by a lack of what AI-generated disclosure needs to look like. This trust varied by topic – with those surveyed generally ‘OK’ with the idea of AI being used in weather reports and more linear case studies, such as stock markets. AI being used to create news, meanwhile, was at the other end of the spectrum. As fear and lack of trust grew, so did the emergence of AI fact checkers, capable of scanning paraphrasing and content created by AI. But these tools are not perfect, and – as per many safeguarding measures, it’s advised to have multiple checks and balances when evaluating whether or not content has been created by AI.

With Content Guardian, this tool allows for just that. It amalgamates the very best fact checkers, selected by our team of experts, to create a simple score and a single source of the truth. By combining multiple sources, this increases confidence that you are not getting a false positive. Not only that, but in having multiple checkers housed under one roof, it’s far more cost-effective and easier to navigate than taking out multiple subscriptions across a number of fact-checkers available. 

Content Guardian allows publishers to harness the power of AI on their own terms and not get caught out. The tool helps to significantly reduce the risk of unwanted AI content on your website or to ensure that the content presented is original and not at risk of penalisation by search engines.

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