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The AI Research Paper Was Real. The 'Coauthor' Wasn't


scan light shining on open book

David Cox, the co-director of a prestigious artificial intelligence lab in Cambridge, Mass., was scanning an online computer science bibliography in December when he noticed something odd — his name listed as an author alongside three researchers in China whom he didn't know on two papers he didn't recognize.

Cox figured there must be another David Cox doing AI research. "Then I opened up the PDF and saw my own picture looking back at me," Cox says.

By checking other papers written by the same Chinese authors, a third example was found.

Cox says he has heard rumors of academics in China being offered a financial reward for publishing with researchers from prestigious Western institutions. Cox and other say it reflects a broader lack of rules around the publishing of papers in AI and computer science especially, where many papers are posted online without review beforehand.

From Wired
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