China Forbids AI-generated Declaration Materials In Scientific Research

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China’s Ministry of Science and Technology has recently issued guidelines on the code of conduct for scientific research, prohibiting generative artificial intelligence (AI) from being used to directly generate declaration materials, or being listed as a co-author of achievements. Experts said on Wednesday that the guidelines will promote the healthy development of generative AI and prevent potential risks.

The guidelines were issued in December 2023 to further guide researchers, scientific research institutions, universities, medical and health institutions, and other entities in conducting responsible scientific research. The guidelines will also be updated and released in a timely manner in accordance with the development of technology, according to the ministry.

The rapid development of emerging technologies, including information tech and AI, has brought new opportunities for responsible research, leading to a profound transformation in the field of scientific research. However, it may also bring new challenges in sectors such as research data processing, formation of research outcomes and attribution of authorship, according to the ministry.

The guidelines provide information on how to use generative AI in a reasonable manner, covering research implementation, data management, attribution and publication of research achievements.

According to the guidelines, when researchers use content generated using generative AI, especially when it comes to facts and opinions, researchers should mark and explain the generation process to ensure the contents’ accuracy and to respect others’ intellectual property. It is not appropriate to cite content generated by AI from other authors as primary literature. If it is necessary to cite such content, it should be clearly stated that it was generated by AI, the guidelines say.

The introduction of the guidelines is not only necessary but also a timely move to promote and ensure the healthy development of generative AI, which can reduce potential risks, Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based tech analyst, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The guidelines may work alongside the interim regulation on the management of generative AI services to better regulate the industry. Particularly, in more key fields such as the medical and judicial sectors, generative AI should be more strictly regulated to ensure content safety, Liu noted.

China’s internet watchdog and several other authorities jointly issued interim regulations on the management of generative AI services in July 2023, aimed at promoting the sound development of generative AI and its standard applications. They require service providers to fulfill the obligations of online information security, including taking precautions to prevent under-age users from becoming addicted to generative AI services.

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