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Showing posts from January, 2024

We should never approve of Plagiarism Light

Plagiarism is The thing these days. Powerful software sifts through scientific work of everybody (who has some visibility), it seems. And the software finds huge chunks of copied/re-used text and discovered quite a few rascals in the community and many examples of shady behavior. And there are consequences for the authors of many a scientific thesis. This is good. Now there are voices promoting some exception from scrutiny when writing a PhD thesis. They call it 'modular writing'. It would allow you to re-use existing text (from textbooks, published papers, news-articles...) in, e.g., the introduction, the paragraph on scientific background, etc. The argument is that those parts aren't scientifically original anyway, english isn't the native language for many PhD students and requiring them to wirte original text supposedly puts some unneccessary burden on them.  Well. No.  A PhD-thesis is *not* just another certificate you frame and hang over the TV to have something t

AI is biased - well, that's the whole point!

Artificial Intelligence is a misnomer. Does anybody have an idea of what human intelligence (the non-artificial one) is? Over here in Germany Intelligenz is absolutely not the same thing as intelligence represented with a capital I in CIA, for example. That CIA-one was most probably the intelligence that was meant to be artificially emulated in the 50s, 60s, 70s... And quite successfully so. Today, AI is widely perceived to be an imitation, a parallel realization, or even a substitute of the human intelligence that suposedly sets us apart from every other rock. Remember the times when your science-inclined parents explained to you how the behavior of snails is nothing more than the output of a hardwired machine? Same for the canary, the turtle under you bed, and the dog. (It was hard to believe how the malevolent fits of my cat were hardwired and not real, genuine evil. But it was.) Intelligence was nicely reserved for us humans. That appears to get questioned. The definition of intell