ChatGPT generated answers have been found across the Stack Exchange network and some examples have also been recently seen and removed from Ask Ubuntu. Our colleagues on Stack Overflow have put a temporary ban on all such posts while other sites have begun debate on what their positions will be. Stack Exchange itself has decided not to institute a network ban. So now for Ask Ubuntu...
There are many issues with ChatGPT answers but for me the main issue has been that they look like they might be good answers, (the ones I have seen have been beautifully written), but relying as they do merely on a statistical method they can very, very easily be completely incorrect. The accuracy or otherwise of such an answer has not usually been tested and thus has never been fully evaluated before being presented as a definitive answer to a group of users who are often new to Ubuntu and are often very trusting of such material presented on Ask Ubuntu.
Such answers therefore carry the risk of being harmful to the users of Ask Ubuntu and also harmful to the reputation of Ask Ubuntu as a quality Question and Answer site.
The other major issue is plagiarism. AI posts cannot be effectively referenced as their data comes from a soup of information that cannot ever be effectively referenced. As well many of those using ChatGPT to post will attempt to conceal this usage, thus doubly violating AU plagiarism rules.
My own thought is that such posts have no place on Ask Ubuntu and that, as Stack Overflow, Super User snd other areas have done, we should institute a temporary ban on ChatGPT and similar AI technologies. 'Temporary' while a clearer picture is sought on the role of such technology across the entire Stack Exchange network.
This ban, IMO, would involve:
- Deletion of all ChatGPT content, whether acknowledged as such or not
- Moderator email for initial occurrence, if minor in scope
- Seven day Suspension for subsequent occurrence, or initial occurrence if larger in scope, and then the usual escalation of penalties for further infractions
I would welcome input from those who believe that AI generated answers have a place on AU as well as those who feel these answers have no place. There is room on AU Meta for varied opinions and vigorous discussion.
- Use of ChatGPT is now banned on Super User: Our colleagues on Super User have now instituted a complete ban on ChatGPT content.
- Why posting GPT and ChatGPT generated answers is not currently acceptable: The Stack Overflow rational for banning ChatGPT answers.
- Announcement: AI generated answers are officially banned here: An announcement on English Language and Usage completely banning technology such as ChatGPT from their area.