Oxford Study Warns of AI Creating False Content, Impacting Scientific Accuracy and Research

You know, when you hear about AI creating stuff out of nowhere, it might sound like something from a movie. But at Oxford, they're taking this pretty seriously. They're worried about AI filling our heads with stuff that just isn't true. Imagine science getting all tangled up with these AI fairy tales!

So, these Oxford folks are saying we need to be careful with how we use these smart language tools in research. It's a bit like letting a kid loose in a candy store. Sure, they can grab all the chocolates they want, but is it really a good idea?

Think about it: AI, like ChatGPT or Bard, learns from the vast set of websites. And let's be real, the internet can be a mixed bag. Sometimes, these AIs end up sounding like they know what they're talking about, but they're just repeating stuff they've read online, which might not even be true.

"Large Language Models (LLMs) pose a direct threat to science, because of so-called ‘hallucinations’ (untruthful responses),  and should be restricted to protect scientific truth", explained University of Oxford in a blog post.

Professor Brent Mittelstadt hit the nail on the head. We kind of fall for these AI responses because they sound so human. But just because something sounds convincing, doesn't mean it's the truth. It's like listening to a smooth talker who sounds so sure of himself, but in reality, he might be way off.

"The thing is, we might start believing everything these AIs say, without questioning if it's actually factual or just one side of the story," explains Mittelstadt.

The authors of the study suggest a different approach. Why not use these AIs as sort of translators? Instead of looking to them for solid facts, scientists could use them to help organize data.

Professor Chris Russell, another author, thinks we need to hit the pause button. "These AIs can do some amazing stuff, but just because they can, doesn't mean we should just let them run wild without thinking about the consequences."

Bringing AI into science has its ups and downs. It's like a double-edged sword. On one side, it's doing wonders, like helping find new planets. But on the flip side, there's this whole 'black box' problem. Sometimes the AI comes up with answers, and even the experts can't figure out how it got there. It's like having a machine tell you there's a galaxy somewhere but having no idea how it figured that out. Makes you wonder, right?

Photo: DIW - AIGen

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