The artificial-intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT that has taken the world by storm has made its formal debut in the scientific literature — racking up at least four authorship credits on published papers and preprints. Journal editors, researchers and publishers are now debating the place of such AI tools in the published literature, and whether it’s appropriate to cite the bot as an author. From a report: Publishers are racing to create policies for the chatbot, which was released as a free-to-use tool in November by tech company OpenAI in San Francisco, California. ChatGPT is a large language model (LLM), which generates convincing sentences by mimicking the statistical patterns of language in a huge database of text collated from the Internet. The bot is already disrupting sectors including academia: in particular, it is raising questions about the future of university essays and research production. Publishers and preprint servers contacted by Nature’s news team agree that AIs such as ChatGPT do not fulfil the criteria for a study author, because they cannot take responsibility for the content and integrity of scientific papers. But some publishers say that an AI’s contribution to writing papers can be acknowledged in sections other than the author list.

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