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(Not very) recently, an AI chatbot ChatGPT was released to the public. It is really sophisticated that it can also answer many kinds of questions, regardless if it is factually correct or wrong.

It has been banned on Stack Overflow and made official due to the disruption it caused. Another discussion on the main Meta concluded with a staff stating "we hope that folks on network sites feel comfortable establishing per-site policies responsive to their communities' needs."


Recently, there was a user (ab)using ChatGPT by posting its responses as answers as-is without mentioning the source. Currently, these have been deleted as plagiarism (as per our help center, How to reference material written by others).

Moving forward, how should these kinds of AI-generated posts, including answers and questions, be treated in this community?

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  • What about using ChatGPT for wikis and excerpt (given proper attribution etc al)? Should we treat those with the same mindset?
    – кяαzєя Mod
    Jan 4, 2023 at 2:50
  • I've heard about ChatGPT since everybody is talking about it, but I dont know it very well. Where are these answers from ChatGPT posted? In the chat, or in the forum? How do you know these answers come from ChatGPT?
    – Pablo
    Jan 19, 2023 at 12:03
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    @Pablo they were posted on the main site (and already deleted). ChatGPT's responses are peculiar in that when you see it, you probably know it.
    – Aki Tanaka Mod
    Jan 19, 2023 at 12:57

2 Answers 2

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I think Stack Overflow's model on both disallowing answers posted from it and then banning users for it unceremoniously is the right model to follow.

Think of it like this. It's already the case that the site is really, really quiet. We don't want to risk someone astroturfing answers (or questions) here that come from a chat bot, since that means the community would need to have a more discerning eye about what's going on. That could turn into witch hunts, which isn't constructive no matter the community.

We cannot allow bot-generated answers to survive in our curated knowledge base.

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Deal with them as we do for non-referenced material. We already have the tools, we do not need a more-specific policy. From the point of view of the readers, there's no loss if a bot can generate well sourced, correct answers to questions.

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    For other readers: On SO, I've heard mods say something about the plagiarism policy that using ChatGPT material directly must follow the rules of referencing material written by others: It should have block-quote formatting and give clear attribution to the source (that's where it gets murky, but it would have to at least say it was written by ChatGPT on SO if it weren't currently banned on SO) Dec 29, 2022 at 8:19

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