February 21, 2023

Meet Edward Tian, The Man Fighting Against ChatGPT Misuse

If you don’t know Edward Tian yet, now is the time to get to know him. The 22-year-old senior at Princeton University has developed an app to counteract the abuse and misuse of the AI chatbot, ChatGPT

Who is Edward Tian? 

Tian is the mastermind behind the new tool GPTZero, which helps educators determine whether ChatGPT has written an essay or document. 

According to NPR, the entrepreneur never planned to create a sought-after program. After majoring in computer science and minoring in journalism at Princeton University, Tian planned to graduate from college and get his wisdom tooth removed – that was until he launched GPTZero. 

Before launching his platform, Tian studied AI system GPT-3, an OpenAI platform that is inaccessible to the general public due to its paywall. 

Tian – like many of us – was taken aback by the power of ChatGPT after its launch. The joy he found creating raps and songs on the app was suddenly replaced with dread. 

“I think we’re absolutely at an inflection point,” Tian said in an interview. “This technology is incredible. I do believe it’s the future. But, at the same time, it’s like we’re opening Pandora’s Box. And we need safeguards to adopt it responsibly.” 

How will this platform disrupt our education system? What is the point of learning to write essays at school when this AI platform exists? These were the type of questions Tian asked himself, and, at that moment, he had an epiphany, and GPTZero was born. 

What is GPTZero? 

At the beginning of this year, Tian released his first-ever app. The platform – which Tian did not expect to blow up – has already been accessed by 80,000 since its launch.

However, it has also sparked widespread controversy across the internet. 


@NJ Spotlight News 22 Year Edward Tien is being called the opp who killed cheaters using ChatGPT for school assignments… meanwhile im still out here making it write my emails 😂😂😂 #edwardtian #chatgpt #chatgpt3 #ai #techtok #chasiuu

♬ TO POLANDDDDD – ag0nyy

“When I put this out there, I just thought maybe a few dozen people at best might try it,” said Tian in an interview. “I was not expecting what happened.” 

Ironically, the app uses ChatGPT’s software to detect whether “there’s zero or a lot of involvement” in a processed document. As a result, the platform has been marketed to help educators identify ChatGPT plagiarized work. 

Tian believes his program will help clear the blurred lines between AI and reality. “We’re losing that individuality if we stop teaching writing at schools,” Tian added. 

“Human writing can be so beautiful, and there are aspects of it that computers should never co-opt. And it feels like that might be at risk if everybody is using ChatGPT to write.” 

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Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.