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Cherry trees in full bloom at the University of Washington campus

Goodhart’s Law and Scientific Innovation in Academia

Many university researchers are leaving academia so they can actually get things done

British economist Charles Goodhart was a financial advisor to the Bank of England from 1968 to 1985, a period during which many economists (“monetarists”) believed that central banks should ignore unemployment and interest rates. Instead, they believed that central banks should focus on maintaining a steady rate of growth of the money supply. The core idea was that central banks could ignore economic booms and busts because they are short-lived and self-correcting (Ha! Ha!) and should, instead, keep some measure of the money supply growing at a constant rate in order to keep the rate of inflation low and constant. The choice of which money supply to target was based on how closely it was statistically correlated with GDP. The Read More ›

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Drawings of microbes in antique book with annotations on an abstract language, generative ai illustration

ChatGPT Listed as “Co-Author” For Several Scientific Papers

Large language models can’t be authors of text because they can’t have responsibility, critics say

ChatGPT was listed as a contributing author for at least four scientific articles, according to a report from Nature. The news arrives amid a flurry of debate over the place of AI in journalism and artistic and academic disciplines, and now the issue has spread to the scientific community. People are pushing back against the idea of ChatGPT “authoring” text, claiming that because AI cannot take responsibility for what it produces, only humans should be listed as authors. The article notes, The editors-in-chief of Nature and Science told Nature’s news team that ChatGPT doesn’t meet the standard for authorship. “An attribution of authorship carries with it accountability for the work, which cannot be effectively applied to LLMs,” says Magdalena Skipper, editor-in-chief of Nature in London. Authors using Read More ›