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Keywords Stand Out

By Judey Kalchik Published 10 months ago Updated 7 months ago 3 min read
created by the author using Canva

In February 2023 the sci-fi/fantasy literary magazine Clarkesworld stopped accepting manuscripts. It's the first time within the 17-year run of the magazine that this happened. And the reason? AI-generated content was flooding in and overwhelming the editing staff.

In a normal month the magazine may have received under 30 such submission, but in the month of February 2023 alone, the shortest month of the year, they received over 500 submissions of AI generated content. Clarkesworld also ran into a roadblock that many other publications and platforms have found: AI-detecting tools frequently miss AI content.

OpenAI has its own synthetic text detector that it estimates misses over 70% of AI generated text, and many of the other detectors have similar results. (At the time of this writing, GPTZero had the best results, but still didn't have 100 % accuracy.)

As this guide has shown, there are many clues to be found within AI generated/assisted content. Taken alone, each clue might not be enough to determine the AI genesis of the piece, but when added together a human being will have at least the accuracy of an AI detector, if not much more accurate results.

Buzzwords in AI Generated Content

Strangely enough, the most commonly used words are the simplest: 'the', 'is', and 'it'. According to MIT Technology Review, that's because AI predicts the next word according to which word is most likely given the surrounding context. However, we all use these words, so while the frequency is a tip-off, there are other wordy clues, too: Buzzwords.

The reliance of buzzwords often results in shorter sentences than a human writer would usually use, and a flat or remote tone; giving the impressions of someone trying to identify with an emotion instead of feeling it, and an almost formal reliance on the sentence structure. Adjectives, adverbs, vocations, and lovey-dovey language are often where these buzzwords can be found most easily.

Geographics Descriptions As discussed in the Locations chapter villages and communities abound in AI content. But not just any villages, towns, cities, and such, these are described confidently using the following words, but without any details that give emotion and nuance:

  • quiet
  • nestled
  • amidst
  • midst
  • ever-present
  • near 'towering peaks'
  • by 'serene forests' and 'dense woodland'
  • idyllic
  • embraced
  • bustling
  • breathtaking
  • transcending
  • clamoring
  • quaint


People are described confidently but lack nuance and identifying details that would bring the reader to that conclusion on their own. Words lean towards formal speech and often include:

  • reclusive (people/mansions/woods)
  • adventurous (groups or solo adventurers)
  • daring (ditto above!)
  • entranced
  • forged (new communities/relationships/alliances)
  • basking (in harmony, in fellowship)
  • weighed down by secrets (travelers, magicians, haunted folk)
  • embarked ( everyone loves to do that, very few 'go' anywhere)
  • bore/bear witness (another favorite instead of 'looks/see/watch')
  • cloaked (in darkness/robe/secrecy/mist)
  • pace (quickened/slowed/dragged/hurried)
  • departed (not left, seldom retreated- these folks depart a lot)
  • endeavor (this would drive Yoda crazy: they seldom 'do', but neither do the try or attempt)
  • journey (not just a noun, this stands for 'going' somewhere)
  • legendary (travels/exploits/tales/discoveries)


Buzz Phrases

  • magical realms and extraordinary adventures (but no details!)
  • boundless imagination/fueled his imagination/apply his imaginative thinking/imagination soar (all used within one paragraph in one of our examples shows the saturation of a word to drive home a point, even as detailed actions are omitted)
  • story spread far and wide (more about this in the Morals chapter)
  • beacon of hope (ditto the above)
  • legacy/memory/example continues to inspire/remind/warn
  • and so.... continues to inspire and captivate/remind us of our better selves/serve as a reminder that unity and courage...
  • the memory of... (the struggle/their example/their sacrifice/their bravery)
  • as we navigate... (challenges/obstacles/new ways)


Vocations and What People Do

When a story can be set in infinite worlds it's interesting to see commonalities among vocations. AI also hasn't grasped employment equality, gender fluidity, pregnancy, sensuality, or government as these nuances are rarely present in content. In our example pieces the characters were most likely to have artistic/performer vocations.

  • botanist
  • villager/outsider
  • traveler (who was really a magician)
  • farmhand/farmer
  • baker
  • musician/performer
  • filmmaker
  • dreamer/visionary
  • photographer
  • food vendor
  • painter/artist
  • journalist

It is unusual within AI generated content to see businesspeople, politicians (besides a local mayor or two), truck drivers, custodians, business admins, bankers, grocery clerks, nurses,, or the myriad other ways humans are active within their communities.


The content above is the First Chapter of my work in progress, described in this Vocal story.

The next chapter will show how the passing of Time is addressed in AI generated content.

Missed the previous chapter? Click here for Story Arcs.

While you are here, please leave me a comment: What other buzzwords have you noticed in AI generated content? What commonalities are a tip-off for you?

Please subscribe below to get a FREE notification of the next chapter in this guide, as well as my other newly published Vocal content.


About the Creator

Judey Kalchik

It's my time to find and use my voice.

Poetry, short stories, memories, and a lot of things I think and wish I'd known a long time ago.

You can also find me on Medium

And please follow me on Threads, too!

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Comments (9)

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  • Ameer Bibi3 months ago

    Informative article, but there are some words like breathtaking, beacon of light/hope, quite, bustling city, adventurous etc. As I am non native English person, but I appeared two times in IELTS and PTE examination of English language test. I learnt a plethora of unique words to write essay and letters. And we have been learning it since childhood about once upon a time, whenever to start a story. It is pertinent component of introduction.

  • Once upon a time there was an imaginative creator named Judey (wait, that's not a typical AI generated name, is it?) who led us through magical realms of fantastical adventures discovering the horrid beast that is AI. How'd I do?

  • JBaz10 months ago

    I worry about htis, I finally begin writing for others to read and then this happens. Yikes. I guess we shall see where the future takes us. Great article

  • J. Delaney-Howe10 months ago

    Great informtion!

  • Jay Kantor10 months ago

    Dear Ms. Judey - As I sit watching (60) year old sitcoms our 'hood is "Flooded" with writer-pickets; such a Shonda. Jay

  • Denise E Lindquist10 months ago

    Great! Thank you for the information. 😊💕

  • ANFAS10 months ago


  • Naomi Gold10 months ago

    Whew… I’m relieved that ‘breathtaking’ and ‘transcending’ are the only things I’ve found myself using from this collection of buzzwords. I’m very mindful about not using words multiple times within a text, and also not using the same descriptive language I commonly see others use. If I sound redundant, I just delete the entire description and continue without it. That’s also the best way to show, not tell… which AI doesn’t do.

  • ARC10 months ago

    Wild. This is such a dense and multi-faceted conversation. Judey - THANK YOU for the work you are doing to make AI more easily-recognizable to more of us. I, for one, have found your tips beneficial on more than one occasion. 💙

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