Published via Research News July 11, 2023
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a powerful new tool that is already making major and positive contributions to research. Over time, the capabilities and uses of AI will only increase. While AI has the potential to facilitate, even revolutionize, research, its use introduces important new challenges that require management. Recent developments surrounding generative AI, such as ChatGPT, have increased interest in the use of such technologies, and have accelerated their adoption in the research community. Because many researchers already employ AI in their work, or may be considering using such technologies in the future, I want to remind researchers of a number of important issues that accompany the use of AI in your research:
- Publicly available generative AI software may add any information you provide to the knowledge base of that platform. Consequently, you should not disclose confidential, sensitive, personally identifiable information or intellectual property when using such tools.
- Generative AI can produce intelligible sentences and paragraphs that may contain factual errors or content that is illogical. The user must assiduously check the output of AI to ensure there are no fatal or fundamental flaws.
- Researchers should provide proper attribution and transparency in their manuscripts when they have used AI in their research (PMID: 36697395).
- Investigators are responsible for maintaining research integrity, rigor, and reproducibility in their work. Undoubtedly, AI will contribute intentional and unintended forms of plagiarism and falsification of data, as have other new technologies. As such, we must be particularly vigilant when employing these new technologies.
Given these challenges and opportunities as the use of AI continues to grow, government agencies, including funding agencies such as the NSF and NIH, have begun legal and regulatory discussions to develop policies for the use of AI. In anticipation of new policies, the OVCR and Research IT Governance Committee will participate in efforts to develop appropriate guidelines, resources, and training curricula to help our faculty, staff, and trainees to leverage these exciting technologies now and in the future.
We will continue to communicate with you as our efforts to support and enable the appropriate, rigorous, and trustworthy use of these exciting technologies progress.
Mark E. Lowe, MD, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research
Senior Associate Dean for Research, School of Medicine
Harvey R. Colten Professor of Pediatric Science