Death of the author? AI generated books and the production of scientific knowledge

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been applied to an increasing number of creative tasks from the composition of music, to painting and more recently the creation of academic texts. Reflecting on this development Harry Collins, considers how we might understand AI in the context of academic writing and warns that we should not confuse the work of algorithms with tacit complex socially constructed forms of knowledge.

Apparently there are now academic books generated by artificial intelligence algorithms.  An example just published by Springer Nature, and written by ‘Beta Writer’, is called Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research.  I don’t know anything much about Lithium-Ion batteries, nor about how these algorithms work, but I do know something about scientific knowledge and the way it is generated. I have also written three books (without the aid of an algorithm) on artificial intelligence that draw on this knowledge, most recently: Artifictional Intelligence, Against humanity’s surrender to computers.

Full paper here

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