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Placing ChatGPT in the context of disruptive technology in academic publishing

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-16, 10:28 authored by Beth Montague-Hellen
ChatGPT is an AI-based text generating tool which was released at the end of 2022. The tool is significantly better than previous AIs at generating written outputs which appear to have been written by a human including academic research articles. Within academic research there has been considerable interest in whether the tool can be used to write scholarly content, and what the consequences of this would be. Despite the increased quality of output ChatGPT still suffers from many of the flaws which plague other AI tools such as bias, inaccurate training materials and its use leads to concerns around plagiarism and research integrity. This article centres the viewpoint of an academic librarian to discuss ChatGPT in the context of other technologies which have been disruptive. An argument is made that the tool is simply one in a series of transformational developments in scholarly communications, which have all been, eventually, successfully assimilated. This work was supported by the Francis Crick Institute which receives its core funding from Cancer Research UK (CC0103), the UK Medical Research Council (CC0103), and the Wellcome Trust (CC0103).

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