We have compiled a massive database of digital material by continually cataloging and indexing the entire Internet using automated web robots. Our robots retrieve millions of documents from the Internet every day— Turnitin.com has one of the most current and extensive crawls of the Internet available.
Using this Big Database, they can then compare academic papers submitted by professors or students, and create what they call an “Originality Report” which rates the possibility that the paper was plagiarised.
Not only that, but they say that they:
…archive all papers submitted to our database by registered users. Extended use of our service builds a comprehensive archive of papers and ensures that students will never recycle papers from previous classes.
I’m not a plagiarism advocate, but this sort of thing strikes a chill into my bones. If education has sunk so low that teachers need robotic assistance to gauge originality, then teachers have ceased to know their students, students have ceased to know their teachers, and education has become something akin to a chicken grading line. I can’t imagine why this approach to education is a benefit to society at large.