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March 28, 2023

AI Plagiarism

Can artificial intelligence chatbots be reliably used for work projects? Information scientists at Penn State have found three forms of plagiarism in a popular AI chatbot.

Credit: U.S. National Science Foundation

Artificial intelligence chatbots have been in the news lately as they have developed to be interactive, but it seems the generative texts may need to be viewed with caution. We'll explore the future of AI Plagiarism in the U.S. National Science Foundation's "Discovery Files."

AI language models are fascinating in their ability to generate text, but if you are a student, you may want to consider writing yourself instead of using them in your next assignment.

Supported in part by NSF, information scientists from Penn State University, have identified three forms of plagiarism from a popular chatbot. Because the language model's data is available online, the researchers were able to develop a pipeline for automated plagiarism detection by comparing over 200,000 generated texts to the 8 million documents used to pre-train the AI language model.

The researchers found that the language model will complete 3 types of plagiarism. Verbatim by directly copying content. Paraphrasing, by rewording or restructuring content. Idea, by using the main idea from a text without proper attribution.

The researchers also found that the more data used in the training and the larger the parameters, the more often the plagiarism would occur. Additionally, the chatbots would expose private information alongside the other texts used in their training.

While the appeal and fun of AI language models may seem to be productive, they raise ethical and philosophical questions about copyright that need to be addressed before they can be reliably used without the possibility of negative consequences.

To hear more science and engineering news, including the researchers making it, subscribe to "NSF's Discovery Files" podcast.

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