The year 2021 has witnessed publications like the AACR, Wiley, and Frontiers, leveraging AI on their peer-reviewed manuscripts to identify duplicated images and alert the editors automatically.
If you have ever proofread an article for a friend or read research papers for work, you would know the concentration and hard work that goes into ensuring a given written work is original. The publishing industry undergoes this challenge but on a daily basis and with bigger manuscripts. And if plagiarism checks weren’t enough, we now have deepfakes, allowing authors to fabricate images. Doubled edged sword, the same AI allowing the creation of such deepfakes, is now stepping in to help organisations spot duplication.
Members of our team are fans of science fiction but even they will grudgingly admit, its impact hasn’t always been positive. Talk to most people about AI and it will conjure images of anthropomorphic terrifying metallic machines striding across an apocalyptic planet or computers hellbent on world domination or at least stealing our jobs. But that kind of thinking isn’t a useful frame for thinking about the challenges and opportunities ahead. AI on its own really isn’t there for sotting dodgy images but humans and algorithms/machine learning working together is showing real promise.
Nature has identified four publishers that have automated the process to spot duplications before publishing manuscripts in a feature. “Specialists say a wave of automated image-checking assistants could sweep through the scientific publishing industry in the next few years, much as using software to check manuscripts for plagiarism became routine a decade ago,” explained Nature.