Originality.ai Review: A User Based Evaluation of the AI Content Detection Tool

Authenticity has been one of the hottest topics among content writers and publishers since artificial intelligence came into the scene in late 2022. 

Some believe that human-written content is second to none, especially if you’re trying to rank and avoid a penalty from Google. Many of these people like to take steps to ensure their content has little to no traces of AI.

Originality.ai exists to meet that need. It claims to be able to detect AI content with a 99% accuracy rate. Many reviews have tried to guide prospective users on whether or not it is worth their time. 

In a way, that’s the purpose of this article but instead of simply giving generic verdicts, we’ll make it a user-based review. 

That is, we’ll help you see whether or not Originality is best for you based on what real Originality users are saying about the tool.

What Originality.ai Was Designed For

The tool came into the market in November 2022. Jon Gillman, who had accumulated ten years of SEO experience and had previously sold two content marketing companies, was the founder. 

His aim with Originality was to help content publishers decide when exactly they were using AI.

The tool was designed to serve three key purposes with a few minor features in between – AI content detection, plagiarism detection and fact checking.

AI Content Detection: The first is pretty straightforward, although the technical details are a bit more complex. 

Specifically, the tool helps users to determine the probability that an article was written by artificial intelligence. 

Ideally, if a person writes an article, it should show up as original with the probability of AI input being low or non-existent. 

The tool achieves this with Google’s BERT model. It was originally developed to understand human language and recommend search results accordingly. However, Originality modified it to detect AI content alongside a text database of 160gb. 

Plagiarism Detection: Much like any other plagiarism detector, Originality receives your text and strips it of all formatting in a step called text preprocessing. 

Then, it scans the article and compares it to an existing database of articles to see if there are any similarities.

Afterwards, you get a report and you can improve your content’s uniqueness based on that.

Fact Checking: Perhaps the most interesting part of Originality’s features is its fact checking tool. It is designed to check individual statements or entire articles for factually inaccurate statements and report them to you.

To the tool’s credit, they do state that you should not expect 100% accuracy, as the tool can sometimes provide inaccurate results. We’ll give an opinion on that along the way.

Other features include readability analysis and a few AI tools like the blog post idea generator, AI paraphraser, etc.

What Users are Saying About Originality.ai

In our experience, we’ve found that Originality.ai isn’t exactly all that it is cracked up to be. 

It often comes up with false positives and leads to hundreds of hours of valuable time wasted, trying to prove to editors and clients that content isn’t, in fact, AI generated. 

But, this review is primarily to show what other users are saying, not necessarily to emphasize our opinions. So, we’ll split this category into two parts —

The Good

It won’t be a fair review if we entirely cut out the good parts of people’s opinions of Originality. 

So, we’ll start off by saying that a fair number of users had some good things to say about Originality.ai. 

Among others, users expressed that Originality was good for their workflow, customer service was great, etc. 

Below are a few positive reviews from TrustPilot.  

Here are a few more positive reviews from ProductHunt:

It’s difficult not to point out or notice that these three five star reviews do not seem to talk about their personal experiences with Originality.ai. 

Instead, they simply talk generically about the tool being good and recommend it. Odd but we’ll allow you draw your own conclusions there.

The Bad

People across the internet have spoken poorly of Originality.ai and we didn’t even have to search too hard to find them. 

The primary negative sentiment seems to be that Originality.ai is a scam and it shouldn’t be trusted because it keeps coming up with false positives.

One of the more interesting reviews of the product came from a Reddit user. They had taken the time to write a few landing pages and had delivered them to their client — no AI was involved, of course. Originality claimed that it was AI-generated. 

Wanting to sort things out, the writer rewrote a few paragraphs entirely and it still came back AI-generated. In the end, the writer had to cancel the entire contract as they didn’t want to have to rewrite the entire content piece all over again.

Other people expressed similar issues in the same thread on Reddit:

The list really does go on. 

Here are a few other reviews from TrustPilot.

The last one seemed a little difficult to believe but it’s not particularly far from what other users have said about the product.

To cap it all, here are a few more reviews from ProductHunt.

Again, the list goes on but you can check the reviews for yourself via the links we included at different points in this section.

Summarily, while some people consider Originality a great option for its customer support, among other things, other people believe it to be an absolute scam and it’s difficult to ignore those sentiments.

Should You Still Get Originality.ai?

The most straightforward answer to this question is that you probably shouldn’t. Of course, there are exceptions and we’ll respect those. However, we think that you might want to reconsider for a few reasons:

It is Inaccurate

The biggest of those reasons is that Originality.ai seems to be obviously inaccurate. The whole point of getting the tool, at least for many users, is to detect AI content. 

On the surface, the tool seems to serve a noble purpose. There are a lot of people out there who would try to pass off AI-generated content where clients have requested and paid for human-written articles. 

Originality should ideally help solve this problem.

But, considering the reviews of several users across the internet, and we do mean “across the internet,” it simply is not a reliable tool. And if it genuinely cannot serve the purpose for which it was created, why bother getting it anyway?

To understand the extent of its inaccuracy, you should note that it isn’t limited to its AI detection tool only. Even the fact checking tool is fallible. 

If you were to type in an obvious phrase like “The Bible is the highest-selling book in history,” Originality will likely return with a “potentially false” result. 

It will go ahead to defend this claim by providing explanations backed by different sources, making it even more believable.

However, a quick look at even the sources cited by Originality shows that it is wrong. So, it’s not a case of it cited the wrong sources or that the sources themselves were wrong. Originality simply got things entirely wrong.

This sort of inaccuracy isn’t something that should be lightly gambled with, especially since it would be costing you money.

It Could Cost You Clients as a Writer

One of the biggest pieces of feedback that people gave Originality is that it cost them clients. 

This was in situations where clients believed the writers to be cheating them by using AI where human-written content was required.

Continuing to rely on Originality could lead to the same results for you in the worst case scenario. 

In the best case scenario, it might simply lead to a situation where you’re constantly trying to prove to your clients that you’re not writing AI-generated content. 

Since you can’t always control what your client does with your content, however, our advice in this regard would be to state it clearly from the beginning that you’re not going to be running your content through Originality. 

Also tell them that you will not be making changes based on the tool’s results. If they wish to find out the authenticity of your content, they should rely on your shared Docs drafts to see proof of line-by-line writing, research notes, etc.


To conclude this piece, allow us to share an excerpt from Originality’s terms and conditions.

The part that we’re most concerned about says that “If a Detect AI score gives you a reason to suspect content has been AI-generated, do not assert a probability as fact. 

Conduct an investigation by, for example, asking the content provider for research notes and early drafts or the revision history of the work.” 

Based on this, it is safe to say that even they recognize that their tool is not as accurate as other people believe it to be. 

As such, even you should approach the tool with a decent level of skepticism.

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