AI Detectors Think The US Constitution is AI-Generated Here’s Why

AI detectors have raised eyebrows recently by claiming that the US Constitution was written by artificial intelligence in 1787.

AI detectors have raised eyebrows recently by claiming that the US Constitution was 
written by artificial intelligence in 1787. While this assertion is clearly false, it highlights 
a concerning issue: there’s much to desire in AI detectors’ reliability in accurately 
identifying AI-generated content. 

The heart of the problem lies in the methods employed by these detectors. They use 
large language models like ChatGPT, trained on vast amounts of human-written and AI-
generated text, to determine the likelihood of a piece of writing being human- or AI-
authored. Two key metrics used are “perplexity” and “burstiness.” 

Formal language = AI content? 
Perplexity measures how closely a text aligns with what the AI model has learned during 
training. It can accurately identify AI-generated content that closely resembles the 
training data. 

While this is all fine and dandy, it is problematic when dealing with formal language, 
such as the US Constitution.  

Burstiness, on the other hand, evaluates the variability in sentence length and structure. 
AI-generated content often display more uniformity — a diversion from human writing 
which tends to vary in length. 

However, these metrics have their limitations. Skilled human writers can produce 
content with low perplexity, mimicking the AI-generated style. Similarly, AI models are 
becoming more human-like in their writing, rendering burstiness as an unreliable 
discriminator. 

False positives too high 
Studies have shown that AI writing detectors are far from foolproof and perform only 
marginally better than random classifiers. They frequently return false positives, leading 
to potential misjudgments and unfair accusations against students and writers. 
Moreover, these detectors can be easily bypassed through paraphrasing attacks, further 
 compromising their accuracy. 

Amid the concerns, some educators are embracing AI tools like ChatGPT to support 
learning, acknowledging that existing detectors are inadequate for detecting AI-
generated content accurately.  

Turning detection on its head 
In response, one AI detector creator plans to shift their focus away from AI detection 
and instead highlight the human touch in content creation. Their aim is to assist 
teachers and students in navigating the evolving landscape of AI’s role in education. 
The AI writing detection challenge is also complicated by potential biases against non-
native English speakers, leading to higher false-positive rates in their work. 
As AI continues to advance, the need for robust safeguards against misinformation and 
the appropriate recognition of AI’s involvement in content creation becomes 
increasingly evident.  
The existing AI detectors’ shortcomings underscore the urgency of developing more 
accurate and reliable detection systems. Until such systems are in place, it is crucial to 
approach AI-generated content detection with caution, considering the personal cost of 
false accusations. 

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