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Inspera acquires Crossplag
An assessments giant adds a plagiarism detector
Press Release: Inspera
Market (geography): Norway HQ, with clients in 160+ countries
Market (industry verticals): Assessment, Plagiarism checker
Customer demographic: HE institutions, K12 school operations
Leadership Team: Besart Kunushevci
Public business data:
Avg. 400,000 unique website visitors per month (SEMrush)
Inspera is funded by private equity firm CGE Partners
AI has swept into education like a whirlwind, and safeguarding academic integrity quickly emerged as a top priority. In the long run, this will prompt a fundamental rethink of assessment design and massive curriculum innovation. But with 1 in 5 college students saying they’ve used ChatGPT to complete assignments or exams, what’s needed in the short term is strong plagiarism detection software for AI-generated content.
Inspera is one of the market leaders in digital assessment solutions, used by institutions across 160 countries on five continents to digitally deliver standardized tests, open and closed-book exams, final exams, and coursework assessments on-site or in hybrid/remote environments. Crossplag’s big value-add is a tool to work across a large number of languages, including translations. This acquisition is at the heart of a new partnership with remote proctoring software Proctorio, to add Inspera’s new similarity and AI-generated text detection to Proctorio’s suite of solutions.
This is a crowded market with big incumbents: Turnitin launched its own AI detection tool ‘Originality’ in April, which it claims can detect 97% of writing generated by ChatGPT and GPT-3. Differentiation is tough to create and tougher to moat; the sheer pace of progress in AI tech quickly renders solutions obsolete. Any university still hoping that AI detection services will be the answer to plagiarism may be alarmed by Conch, an AI-powered subscription-based ‘writing tool’ aimed at students, which promises to ‘run your writing through our proprietary algorithm and have us rewrite it until it becomes detection free’. (Crossplag is trained on a fine-tuned model of RoBERTa using the Open AI dataset.)
As the dust settles, universities will look to embrace the positive impact that AI tools can have on learning. Instead of banning AI altogether, educators will reinvent traditional assessments and assignments to better incorporate AI-generated content, questions, and prompts in assessments. AI detectors and remote proctoring are not a solution; Rather, they are a temporary stopgap.
Beyond academic integrity, there are concerns about the inherent bias in AI models – one study found that AI plagiarism detectors tend to penalize non-native English speakers, for example – and privacy, although the data protection threat could well be greater to students from the AI chatbots that they are using to write their essays than from detection software.
In the company’s words
We wrote this post using the information publicly available to the ETCH team. If you are a member of the Inspera leadership team, we welcome your feedback! We will update this post to include any commentary you feel appropriate in this section.
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