Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has advanced steadily over the past several years, and has started to introduce data-driven solutions to many processes throughout the publication process. AI tools can be developed to provide guidance to humans based on relevant data, or AI may lend toward automation of some processes without human intervention. Some processes already being considered for AI intervention include: journal selection, topic identification, reviewer suggestion, scope assessment, text duplication checking, and statistical analyses; however, this is not a comprehensive list of AI options, and the opportunities for AI use are expanding at a rapid rate.
With the advancement of AI, questions surrounding the relevant ethics arise as to if, when, and how AI could/should be used. In this forum we’d like to start a discussion about these ethical issues, which COPE will use to develop a larger discussion document on this topic.
Questions for the Forum:
1) Is there a clear distinction between technical automation and artificial Intelligence for automatic decision-making or actions taken in the publication process?
2) Are there processes where full technical automation is acceptable or even expected? Are there processes where full automation would be deemed unethical? Similarly, are the processes where AI-aided recommendations would be expected or deemed unethical?
3) What information do journals need to provide to authors (and reviewers) about AI tools in use at their journal?
4) What happens if an author/reviewer disagrees with a recommendation made by or action taken by AI tools? What types of procedures should be put into place to appeal an AI action?
We welcome comments on this discussion from both members and non-members. Please add your comments below.
The discussion will continue at the COPE Forum on Monday 11 November 2019, which is open to COPE members. Following this discussion topic, members' cases will be presented for discussion and advice from the participants of the Forum.
COPE members need to register for the Forum by Friday 8 November 2019.
Please do leave any comments below, whether or not you are planning on joining the meeting.
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