AI Writing

Can Packback Detect AI Writing and Plagiarism?

Learn if the popular writing assistant and plagiarism detector Packback can also detect AI writing. Take a closer look at its features and how it works.

Countless students and teachers rely on plagiarism detection tools every day. 

However, many of these tools are so tightly integrated into Learning Management Systems (like Blackboard and SafeAssign) that there are challenges with adapting to the rapid changes in AI writing. Then, other tools are standalone programs covering the basics (exact text matches or paraphrasing). 

Packback is a bit of a hybrid — it’s a combination forum, discussion group, and AI-powered writing lab, all rolled up into a single platform. 

While there are tools on the market that excel at checking grammar and phrasing or scanning huge databases to find instances of plagiarism, Packback is one of those systems that’s open-ended enough to accomplish a range of tasks fairly well. 

So, can Packback detect AI writing and plagiarism? Find out if it detects AI writing, its methods for checking plagiarism, and how it stacks up to Originality.ai

What Is Packback?

According to Crunchbase, Packback was established in 2013. It has since evolved into a multifaceted educational platform, bridging the gap between a discussion group, a writing lab, and an educational coach.

Packback leverages AI to provide educators with a “Digital TA” or digital teaching assistant to help them save time grading student work. At the same time, it hopes to help coach students to articulate their ideas more clearly. 

Does Packback Detect AI Writing?

In 2022, Packback shared a press release with PR Newswire announcing that it would be integrating “AI-generated content detection” into its system. 

So, does Packback detect AI writing? Yes, it does.

Currently, Packback detects AI writing in:

  •  “Packback Questions,” a discussion forum that’s led by students.
  •  “Deep Dives,” a platform that provides coaching for research and writing.

Packback’s approach to AI

Packback uses “Instructional AI” to navigate the rapid changes in AI development. 

In their December 2022 PR Newswire press release, Dr. Craig Booth, the Chief Technology Officer at Packback was quoted, "Tomorrow's world of work will be one where professionals collaborate alongside generative AI.”

So, essentially Packback is adopting the perspective that AI isn’t going away, and should be embraced, and integrated. To that end, Packback incorporates the concept of “AI coaching” to provide feedback to students. 

Does Packback Detect Plagiarism?

Yes, Packback detects plagiarism. Its plagiarism detection works through a two-pronged review — it looks for external and internal plagiarism. 

External plagiarism detection

Packback views external plagiarism as coming from an online source

For example, if a student makes a post that is mostly quoted from somewhere else (e.g. under 40% is new, original content), their detector flags it as “plagiarized or consisted of primarily quoted material.” 

So, if a student’s post isn’t substantial enough in terms of their own, original thoughts and ideas, it gets flagged automatically. After being flagged, it’s reviewed by a team of community moderators.

Internal plagiarism detection

Packback’s plagiarism detection software also checks for internal plagiarism. Internal plagiarism in Packback’s platform refers to posts that copy directly or borrow heavily from other Packback users

Challenges and Limitations of Packback’s AI and Plagiarism Detection

Although Packback has impressive technology behind its AI writing coach idea, the rapid development of AI poses challenges and limitations to detectors.

Rapid AI development

AI tools like ChatGPT are constantly learning and improving while producing more “human-like” text, posing challenges to today’s AI writing detectors that have to keep up the pace. That means Packback needs to continuously refine its algorithms to catch more subtle uses of AI. 

Exact match plagiarism detection

Then, like many plagiarism detectors, Packback leans heavily on detecting matching text rather than looking for the more subtle cues that could indicate different types of plagiarism

Manual review and moderation

Although its (human) content moderation team and AI moderation do manage to flag a number of instances, no system is perfect, and false positives can happen. When false positives occur, it takes away educators’ time who need to manually verify whether or not something was plagiarized or potentially written with AI.

How Packback Compares to Originality.ai

On the surface, both tools seem similar — they both scan for plagiarism and AI detection. However, they also go about the process in very different ways. 

Packback is built as a combination feedback tool and discussion board. As a result, its plagiarism and AI detection tools are a small part of its larger suite of services. 

Originality.ai specializes in detecting AI-generated content and plagiarism at its core, making it a must-have for users who want clear, thorough, and precise plagiarism and AI scanning capabilities. 

Originality.ai has been designed specifically to target AI-generated text with a high level of accuracy, to the point where its systems can detect even subtle nuances of AI writing and paraphrasing that other detection systems miss. 

Read the meta-analysis of third-party studies that demonstrate Originality.ai’s exceptional performance in AI detection for more information.

In contrast to Packback, it’s not a writing lab, teaching assistant, or grading tool. Instead, it was built for professionals like web publishers, marketers, and professional writers who need to review content for plagiarism and AI writing, so they can publish with integrity.

Plus, Originality.ai complements plagiarism detection and AI writing detection with readability analysis, fact-checking, and website scanning

So, the verdict? Packback offers an extensive suite of educational tools for the academic world, whereas Originality.ai was built for content creators, writers, and marketing agencies.

Final Thoughts

Packback can be beneficial for students and educators looking for a plagiarism detector and AI detector, while offering helpful suggestions to “coach” you along as you discuss and share ideas with others.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for deeper, comprehensive plagiarism and AI writing detection, for content marketers, professional writers, or website owners, Originality.ai is a fantastic option. 

Plus, with the newly released 2.0.1 Standard (BETA) version the Originality AI checker has 99%+ accuracy in detecting AI content. Learn more in our AI Content Detector Accuracy Review.

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 Originality.ai to help businesses and publishers get the best returns from their Content.

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