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At the moment there is majority support for having a banner on-site that reminds users that AI-generated content is not welcome on math.stackexchange. As part of getting that banner put in place, we need to have a help-centre page for the banner to reference. I have, based loosely on the Stack Overflow policy ( https://stackoverflow.com/help/ai-policy ) put together a draught (provided as an answer to this question).

Please provide input and edit the answer until we have something that we are happy with as a community. It is likely, for example, that I have missed points out that we care about, and it is also quite likely that my English is rather abrupt or terse compared with, say, American English.

As I understand it, once we have the necessary help-text then the moderators can choose to enact, or not, the addition of the banner.

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    $\begingroup$ Relevant: meta.stackexchange.com/q/395881 . $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Jan 10 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ Suggested edit: you probably mean “draft”, unless you're referring to a breeze, ale or gamepiece. $\endgroup$
    – wizzwizz4
    Jan 11 at 22:33
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    $\begingroup$ @wizzwizz4 No, draught is right. Chambers dictionary does note that is it usually spelled draft, but draught retains the meaning too (along with 17 others... English is a complicated language). $\endgroup$
    – postmortes
    Jan 12 at 7:14

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Possible help-text

‘Artificial intelligence’ (the currently-vogue term for GPT, LLM, generative AI, and genAI) tools may not be used to generate answers for math.stackexchange. The answers you provide should either be your own original work or the properly cited work of others. If your answers are determined to have been written by AI they are likely to be deleted along with any reputation earned from them. Posting AI-generated content repeatedly may lead to a suspension from the site.

Why shouldn't I use ‘artificial intelligence’ tools to generate answers?

Loosely speaking, the current tools assemble their ‘answers’ from other people’s work (the corpora that they are trained on) accordingly to how likely it is that two words occur next to each other. Little of that training material is mathematical, and mathematics may encode much more than a single word in its symbols. For mathematics, the output from the tool is often gibberish, and when it isn’t it can be badly wrong because the tool lacks any understanding of the symbols it is concatenating — it ‘knows’ only that someone else has linked them in the past. A correct answer generated by such a tool is likely to be plagiarised from a single source; anything else is incorrect. Neither of these outcomes is welcome on math.stackexchange.

What counts as an “answer generated by artificial intelligence tools”?

An “answer generated by artificial intelligence tools” is any answer crafted in part or in whole using a tool that writes a response automatically based on a prompt provided to it. These tools are programmed to produce words in a way that looks like human writing so the responses may seem plausible at first glance, but a careful reading often finds errors, omissions and what are called hallucinations (‘lying’ if the author were human).

Some examples of AI services are: • GPT (aka ChatGPT, with or without version number) • Bard (LaMDA) • Bing Chat • LLaMA

What problems has math.stackexchange identified with ‘AI tools’?

  1. Users who ask questions on math.stackexchange expect to receive an answer authored and vetted by a human. Such an answer is hopefully factual, relevant, complete, and up to the standards of another human (when this is not the case the flagging system and review queues are there to catch and correct it). If the user asking the question had wanted a response from an ‘artificial intelligence’ tool it is reasonable to think they would have asked one instead of posting on math.stackexchange.
  2. The current ‘artificial intelligence’ tools are not capable of citing their sources with any degree of accuracy (they are not designed with this in mind) and do not understand the concept of plagiarism. Both of these are important when learning and studying mathematics.

Can I use these tools to improve the English in my answer?

If your answer is your own, or properly cites its sources, and you run it through an ‘artificial intelligence’ tool to proofread it for you then you can post the resultant output provided that the answer is not materially changed by it. However, it might be wise to note that you have done this as part of your answer to avoid your answer being incorrectly deemed generated by such tools and your account being subject to sanctions as mentioned at the start of this page.
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    $\begingroup$ Do we need a section “What should I do when I suspect that an answer was AI generated?” ? $\endgroup$
    – Martin R
    Jan 16 at 8:03

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