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Researcher Asked GPT-3 to Write an Academic Paper About Itself

robotic hands on a computer keyboard

"We opened a gate. We just hope we didn't open a Pandora's box," the researcher said.

Credit: Getty Images

Swedish researcher Almira Osmanovic Thunström began a simple experiment of how well OpenAI's GPT-3 text generating algorithm could write about itself, and ended up with a paper that's currently being peer reviewed. She describes the effort in an editorial published by Scientific American.

The researcher provided minimal instruction for the algorithm before setting it loose to write a proper academic paper about itself. She writes that she "stood in awe" as the algorithm began writing an actual thesis, replete with effective citations in appropriate places and contexts.

It took only two hours for GPT-3 to write the paper. It ended up taking much longer, Thunström writes, to deal with the authorship and disclosure minutia that comes with peer review.

"Beyond the details of authorship," Thunström writes, "the existence of such an article throws the notion of a traditional linearity of a scientific paper right out the window."

From Futurism
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