Croom Native Seán O’Sullivan Triumphs at BT Young Scientist Exhibition with Innovative “VerifyMe” Project

by | Jan 13, 2024

Seán O’Sullivan, a skilled young innovator from Croom, Limerick, has emerged as the winner at the esteemed 60th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. His groundbreaking project, titled “VerifyMe,” aims to tackle the growing concern of AI-generated content in written works. This achievement not only highlights the exceptional talent and creativity of young minds but also brings us closer to addressing the challenges posed by AI-generated content.

The rise of AI-generated content has sparked global concerns since the release of ChatGPT in November 2022. As the use of AI becomes more widespread, there is an urgent need to accurately identify its presence in written works. Seán’s project directly confronts this issue by using his own writing examples to train a sophisticated software system.

VerifyMe utilizes a cutting-edge technique called the Siamese neural network, which replicates the data processing capabilities of the human brain. The software analyzes written works by examining 58 different values obtained from stylometry, a technique that assesses various aspects of writing style. This comprehensive approach allows VerifyMe to effectively detect the use of AI in written content.

However, VerifyMe’s capabilities go beyond just identifying AI-generated content. It also serves as a powerful tool for plagiarism detection. By comparing a piece of writing to an author’s previous works, the software can determine the originality of the writing and identify potential instances of plagiarism. This feature has significant implications for academic institutions and content creators.

Seán’s system has already achieved remarkable success. In a comparative study, VerifyMe outperformed the seven most popular detection systems, boasting an impressive accuracy rate of 85%. This breakthrough has garnered attention from experts in the field and positions VerifyMe as a leading solution in the fight against AI-generated content.

Education Minister Norma Foley has recognized Seán’s exceptional accomplishment by awarding him the top prize at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Along with the prestigious trophy, Seán also received a monetary award of €7,500. This recognition not only celebrates Seán’s ingenuity but also emphasizes the importance of addressing the challenges posed by emerging technologies.

Seán envisions VerifyMe as a globally applicable solution across various sectors affected by AI-generated content. From academia to journalism, the ability to accurately identify AI content can protect the integrity of information and ensure proper crediting of original work.

This victory also opens doors for Seán to receive further recognition and opportunities. As the winner of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, he will have the chance to represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, where he can showcase his groundbreaking project on an international platform.

VerifyMe’s potential for widespread adoption is further supported by its superior accuracy. According to the developers, VerifyMe demonstrates accuracy improvements up to 3.1 times that of the best-performing AI content detection systems. This remarkable progress offers hope in the battle against AI-generated content and the challenges it presents.

Seán’s journey to develop VerifyMe was not without obstacles. Over the course of a year, he faced numerous trials and errors, fine-tuning the software to achieve optimal results. His unwavering dedication and perseverance have paid off, positioning him as a trailblazer in the field of AI content detection.

With the increasing prevalence of AI-generated content, innovative solutions like VerifyMe are crucial in maintaining the integrity and authenticity of written works. Seán’s accomplishment exemplifies the power of youthful innovation and determination in addressing pressing challenges in the digital age.

Seán O’Sullivan from Croom, Limerick, stands as the winner of the 60th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. His project, VerifyMe, highlights the need for accurate AI content detection. With his groundbreaking software, Seán has shown that young minds can make a significant impact in shaping the future of technology and combating the challenges posed by AI-generated content.