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What is this site’s policy on content generated by generative artificial intelligence tools?

Artificial Intelligence tools (a.k.a. ChatGPT, LLMs, generative AI (genAI) models, Google Bard, etc.) may not be used to generate content for Ask Ubuntu. The content (including questions and answers) you provide on Ask Ubuntu can only be:

  • Your own original work
  • The properly cited work of others (excludes citation of an AI source)

If the content you have placed on Ask Ubuntu is determined to have been written utilizing an Artificial Intelligence tool, that content will be deleted along with any reputation earned. Posting AI-generated content will lead to a warning from moderators, and any further infractions can lead to a suspension from the site.

What counts as “content 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 it is provided.

Because these tools are trained to answer with language that matches authentic text, the responses may look and sound plausible, but the quality of generated answers can vary significantly (up to, and including, completely wrong answers).

It is permissible to use grammar and spell-checking tools to correct grammar and spelling errors in your own posts or while editing and improving the posts of others.

Why am I not allowed to use Artificial Intelligence services to draft my answer?

Ask Ubuntu is a collaborative resource, developed and maintained by members of the Community. There are a few primary issues with content generated by large language models that make it unsuitable for use on Ask Ubuntu:

  1. Users who ask questions on Ask Ubuntu expect to receive an answer authored and vetted by a human. This ensures that the answer is factual, relevant, and complete, up to the standards of another human. While human authors are not perfect, Artificial Intelligence tools may not take into account other important factors to a question (i.e., optimization, security, etc.), often add excessive noise to their answers (i.e., explaining all details, no matter how relevant), and may fabricate false or misleading information (hallucinations).

  2. AI's cannot cite the sources of knowledge used up to the standards of Ask Ubuntu. Even when Artificial Intelligence appears to cite sources for responses, such sources may not be relevant to the original request or may not exist at all. For Ask Ubuntu, the answer may not honestly or fairly represent the sources of knowledge used, even if someone explicitly cites the Artificial Intelligence as an author in their answer.

What is an alternative to using artificial intelligence services?

Many of the answers on Ask Ubuntu are created by users sharing their own expertise, though this is not always required. In particular, users should cite trustworthy sources when supplying answers outside their expertise. Searching for sources, synthesizing them into a good answer, and citing them clearly are critical steps in developing a well-crafted answer.