Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered text generation will change scientific publishing fundamentally. In the past year, multiple AI systems have showcased production of visual and textual content increasingly indistinguishable from human-generated work, creating almost overnight new possibilities for intellectual workers, and at the same time raising similarly potent concerns. While artists and journalists are more evidently at the forefront of this incipient revolution, it is not hard to imagine a researcher looking away from the frustratingly sparse draft of a research article and wondering: “Could a machine write it for me?” (Figure 1).
Natural language systems, such as ChatGPT, have the potential to fundamentally change academic writing, such as components being written by the artificial intelligence. Amongst the reasons why this is concerning is that the system my well just copy text from other publish papers. The use of such a system may not be easily detectable, which will be a concern for publications and host institutions for researchers. This needs to be discussed in policies, guidance material and in professional development.
Yes, AI can write a scientific paper. In fact, there are already AI systems that can write scientific papers by using advanced natural language processing techniques to analyze existing scientific literature and generate text that is similar to human-written scientific papers. This allows AI to quickly and efficiently generate a large amount of text based on a given topic or research area, which can be useful for researchers who want to quickly generate a draft of a paper or for organizations that need to produce a large number of papers on a particular topic.
However, it is important to note that these AI-generated papers are typically not original research, but rather are based on existing research in a particular field. This means that they may not contain any new insights or findings, and are not likely to be published in academic journals. Additionally, the accuracy and validity of the information in the paper may not be as high as a human-written paper, so it is important for a human researcher to review and verify the information before it is published.