Can Grammarly Detect AI Writing?

Discover Grammarly's AI-powered features and explore its capability in detecting AI writing. Uncover how Grammarly utilizes AI for improved content quality.

Grammarly, a highly-popular writing assistant, helps students, writers and other content professionals to check their grammar and spelling. In more recent times it has also begun to leverage AI to help with tone and style issues. But for all its advanced features, can Grammarly detect AI writing? Let’s take a closer look at its capabilities and how it uses AI to help users improve their content at scale. 

Grammarly: The Early Years

Grammarly was originally founded in 2009 by Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn in Kyiv, Ukraine. The idea for Grammarly was born out of the founders´ previous creation; a plagiarism detection service called MyDropbox (no relation to the cloud storage service Dropbox). They sold MyDropbox in 2007 and began work on Grammarly.

Originally the intention for Grammarly was to help improve students’ writing so that they could avoid plagiarism. It was a more sophisticated version of spelling and grammar checkers available at the time, and in addition to correcting a wider range of grammatical errors, it also helped students improve the overall quality of their writing. 

As Grammarly gained traction in academia, the founders realized that the tool could have a much larger potential than just its use in colleges and universities. In 2012 they began widening the net to not only attract students but also professors who were looking to improve their overall written communication. 

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Premium and Business Options

In 2013, Grammarly Premium was introduced. This subscription-based option offered genre-specific style checks, vocabulary suggestions and plagiarism detection. Over time, the platform became usable not just on its own website, but through browser extensions, a desktop program and a mobile keyboard app. 

In 2018, Grammarly Business was launched with a focus on catering to organizations. Unlike Grammarly Premium, Grammarly Business offers style guides and tools to help businesses maintain quality and consistency in their professional communications. The company consistently updates its algorithms to improve accuracy, recently incorporating AI into its functions. That then leads us to the question, can Grammarly detect AI writing? 

How Grammarly Uses AI

With its ongoing improvements and updates, Grammarly has begun to leverage AI as part of its core service integration. Having moved well beyond its initial launch features, today it has become a sophisticated writing assistant that is powered by a variety of advanced algorithms, machine learning and natural language processing techniques among others. Here are a few of the many ways that Grammarly uses AI:

Natural Language Processing

Grammarly heavily relies on natural language processing or NLP, a computer science field that bridges the gap between science and linguistics to focus on how human languages and computers interact. The use of NLP in Grammarly allows the system to understand, interpret and manipulate human language in a way that makes it helpful and meaningful for its users. 

When Grammarly uses NLP to analyze text, what’s actually happening in the background is that the system is breaking down sentences into their grammatical parts and understanding the interplay and relationship between words. By doing this analysis, it can more easily identify grammatical errors, contextual spelling mistakes and punctuation errors. 

Machine Learning and Algorithms

Grammarly uses highly-advanced machine learning algorithms to sift through and learn from incredible amounts of data. Just as in AI writing, these algorithms look for and analyze patterns in millions upon millions of sentences to understand and predict correct language usage. The more text the system is exposed to, the better it gets at predicting and correcting errors. 

One of the biggest strengths of Grammarly leveraging AI is its ability to learn and improve over time. It detects patterns that show grammatical errors, strange phrasing or potential ways to make the writing sound clearer or on point. 

Deep Learning

Deep learning is a subset of machine learning which focuses on more complex language processing tasks. Deep learning, particularly those models that use neural networks, can better understand nuances in language and provide suggestions for corrections that take into consideration the broader context of the piece. 

Deep learning is also responsible for powering Grammarly’s ability to offer style and tone suggestions. It looks at things like sentence length, word choice and punctuation to make your writing more formal, polite, friendly or confident. 

User-Specific Personalization

Grammarly also uses AI to provide suggestions based on your preferences and writing style. It learns over time based on your vocabulary, stylistic choices and common errors, giving suggestions that are relevant to your unique writing. You can also set specific goals, such as whether or not the content is academic, business or casual, for instance, and that will change the suggestions you’re given. 

Platform Limitations

Although Grammarly is an incredibly powerful tool, there are some limitations. It doesn’t always grasp the subtle nuances of more creative writing or highly-specialized jargon. It’s important to note that there may be ethical considerations involved in terms of data privacy as it scans your material. Some users have also voiced concerns over the tool making every piece of writing submitted sound the same across the board, so that’s something you’ll need to keep in mind. 

Grammarly’s Functionality versus AI Writing

Although Grammarly does offer plagiarism detection, it does not currently offer any kind of AI writing detection. This makes it lag far behind tools like Originality.AI which was created expressly for this purpose. Although Grammarly can’t detect when AI writing has been used, Originality.AI can, alongside plagiarism detection. Originality.AI’s ability to detect AI writing with up to 99% accuracy, alongside its many other tools like plagiarism detection, reading level score, content optimization and fact-checking sets it apart from Grammarly as a robust alternative that is designed for today’s content professional. 

The good news is that you can opt to have Originality.AI scan for AI writing, plagiarism or both simultaneously as well as optionally check reading level and factual content. In a digital world where deep fakes, AI and other technologies are used to influence and sway user perception, being able to not only improve your content but also be confident in its authenticity and factualness is crucial. Try Originality today with a credit-based or monthly subscription and start detecting AI writing and plagiarism with ease.

Sherice Jacob

Plagiarism Expert Sherice Jacob brings over 20 years of experience to digital marketing as a copywriter and content creator. With a finger on the pulse of AI and its developments, she works extensively with to help businesses and publishers get the best returns from their Content.

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