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SOCC03: Collective Behaviour

Fall 2023 - Dr. James Braun

What about ChatGPT (and other AI chatbots)?

Tools like ChatGPT, Galactica, LaMDA, etc. are generative AI tools commonly used to create responses to user prompts/queries using a chatbot-style interaction. The key thing to keep in mind when it comes to these tools are that they are language processing interfaces, not search interfaces, and as such are not recommended for use as a research/literature searching tool.

Some key issues with ChatGPT:

  • It has a documented history of providing references to articles that don't exist (i.e. "phantom citations") and can present factually-inaccurate information
  • It can be fed the "wrong" information and might also be unable to access information that isn't freely available (e.g. subscription journals or database content behind a paywall); perpetuating inherent biases from a limited range of sources is a major concern for this tool
  • It has user privacy and data collection/retention concerns

“It is urgent that we recognize that an overlay of apparent fluency does not, despite appearances, entail accuracy, informational value, or trustworthiness” -Bender & Shah, 2022