A brand new book on a hot topic: artificial intelligence and scientific work
The three professors at DHBW, Mr. Bucher, Mr. Holzweißig and Mr. Schwarzer, have published an important book not only for students. Title: Artificial intelligence and scientific work.
But it is not only the entire scientific community that is likely to be turned upside down by AI.
Why is that the case? A recent lawsuit filed by the New York Times against OpenAI and Microsoft shows why:
“Are software companies allowed to use unsolicited newspaper articles to train artificial intelligence? The New York Times believes that the copyright of millions of its articles has been infringed and is now taking OpenAI and Microsoft to court.
The New York Times has become the first major US newspaper to sue the software companies OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement. The paper accuses both companies of using knowledge from millions of articles in the newspaper to feed ChatGPT and thus build a business at the expense of the “New York Times”.” (Source: Tagesschau.de, as of 27.12.2023)
The key questions on the topic of “Artificial intelligence and scientific work” are.
What is possible with AI? Where are the pitfalls or stumbling blocks when using AI? How can you recognize that you are crossing boundaries when using AI?
The approximately 180-page book by the DHBW colleagues is divided into 6 clearly separated chapters and has a sensible overall structure.
It will help anyone who uses AI tools such as ChatGPT or similar in research to answer the above questions. In other words, it provides them with guidelines for their scientific work.
The six chapters of the book “Artificial Intelligence and Scientific Work” are
- scientific work and AI
- generative AI
- legal aspects of the use for scientific work
- use of AI in scientific work
- prompts – guidelines for communication with generative AI
- use of software sources and generative AI in software development
And what about the issue of “plagiarism”?
If you are still looking for the word “plagiarism”, you have another reason to buy the book. This topic is dealt with in chapter 2.4.
What are the highlights of “Artificial intelligence and scientific work”? 14 excerpts and comments
What are the 14 highlights for me that I would like to quote or emphasize (in excerpts) ?
General topics on “Artificial intelligence and scientific work”
“Please also note that generative AI sometimes hallucinates, reproduces errors and contains biases. Therefore, the use of such tools requires an increased level of critical thinking” (page VI)
Comment: This sounds logical at first. But it is not, when you see how carelessly the results are sometimes handled.
“Anyone who wants to develop a recommendation system today can build on the shoulders of many predecessors.” (page 3)
Comment: In other words, there is so much knowledge that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. The important thing is to adapt it properly to the respective research question.
“In the context of scientific work, AI tools such as ChatGPT are often referred to in the literature as research assistants that offer various support services”.
Comment: i.e. in one simple sentence: A fool with a tool, remains a fool.
AI leads to “Augmented Intelligence – the combination of human and artificial intelligence”
Comment: It is the synergy of the two “intelligences” or rather it depends on what you make of it (AI).
My personal conclusion on “Artificial Intelligence and Scientific Work”:
I think this book is a must-read for anyone working in science. But it is also a must-read for anyone working in journalism. The example of the New York Times shows how important it is to protect your sources on the one hand and to cite sources correctly on the other.
2 The author of this article teaches at various universities, has supervised numerous diploma/bachelor theses and two doctoral theses. He writes books and articles himself and therefore has an extensive collection of literature at his disposal. The topics of law and plagiarism alone are worth owning the book.
The book “Artificial Intelligence and Scientific Work” is an important guide
- there is also the chapter on “Prompting” (dialog with AI), which is still in its infancy in many companies or is taken “lightly” by individuals. I compare it to the art of painting a picture. Depending on which colors you use (here, asking questions, formulating requirements), in one way or another, a picture with a different color effect is created (here, the result of AI).
4 It is also a must for software development staff. Because in this context, the authors give tips on how AI can be useful in software development and where the limits lie.
Recommendation: All in all, a book that anyone working in the fields of secondary research, content development, journalism and software development should have.
The book shows how AI can be used to increase productivity when writing a scientific paper. It not only presents a wide range of AI tools and their use in the various phases of a scientific paper, but also looks at how AI is changing scientific work. It also focuses on the legal aspects of using AI and the use of AI in software development.
AI can significantly increase the efficiency of academic work. At the same time, however, you do not want to be accused of misconduct. The book therefore deals with topics such as copyright infringements, the disclosure of internal company data/company secrets, maintaining scientific integrity and how to avoid plagiarism.