January 6, 2023
A machine learning conference has banned authors from submitting papers and work penned by ChatGPT, OpenAI’s viral chatbot and other large language models (LLMs).
The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) said that AI-generated texts would be barred from submission unless the generated work is “presented as a part of the paper’s experimental analysis.”
ICML said its decision was a cautionary one in part due to a lack of time to study ChatGPT and the wider implications it could have on things like authorship.
“Although we are prohibiting text generated by LLMs this year, we plan to investigate and discuss the impact, both positive and negative, of LLMs on reviewing and publishing in the field of machine learning and AI. This decision will be revisited for future iterations of ICML,” a statement on the policy reads.
ChatGPT was released in beta in late November but instantly went viral as users need only sign up for an OpenAI account to access it. ICML did note that the likes of ChatGPT present “exciting progress in natural language processing and generation.” However, the event team noted the difficulty in detecting whether generated texts were produced by a language model.
ICML said it does not plan to implement any systems to check submissions for possible violations of its new policy. Instead, the event team plans to investigate any potential violations when a submission is brought to their attention.
“Any submission flagged for the potential violation of this LLM policy will go through the same process as any other submission flagged for plagiarism,” ICML said.
ICML will review the ban on AI-generated texts by large language models for the 2024 iteration, however. The statement reads, “Although we are prohibiting text generated by LLMs this year, we plan to investigate and discuss the impact, both positive and negative, of LLMs on reviewing and publishing in the field of machine learning and AI. This decision will be revisited for future iterations of ICML.”
The legality of AI-generated works is an ongoing headache for many in the AI space. Currently, only one work has been granted copyright protection – a comic book in the U.S. However, it's facing losing its protections as the Copyright Office has since backtracked on its decision. That case remains ongoing.
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