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Editorial Snapshot: The AI takeover begins? Springer Nature’s bold initiative

- C.C., Editor

One AI development follows another with no end in sight. This week we once again delve into the news about a groundbreaking initiative by Springer Nature, where they announced in early October the introduction of Curie, an in-house developed AI English-checking AI assistant tool. Although details are vague, it is likely a model built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 using their API, fine-tuned using proprietary manuscript data.

The service advertises a streamlined and integrated user experience. However, no guarantees are made about the reliability of the editing suggestions made by Curie, and it is stressed that responsibility lies with the authors. Critically, this means that despite its potential utility, use of the tool does not ensure a perfectly accurate output.

I’ve long been a user and advocate for AI tools since the launch of ChatGPT. Since that time, having worked on jobs at FORTE involving AI text, my experience tells me that while AI writing tools are impressive (and rapidly becoming more so) and capable of vastly accelerating how quickly one can output a piece of writing, they are still not capable of producing accurate suggestions with suitable reliability for medical or technical manuscripts when the original text is written in unclear and ungrammatical English, as is often the case with non-native writers.

Most importantly, non-native writers, by virtue of needing to use such a tool or service in the first place, inherently are not equipped to suitably judge the quality or semantic accuracy of the output of the AI system. Even if the errors are few, if they are critical then they could be incredibly damaging to not only the paper’s chances of being published, but if the paper does in fact get published anyway with unintentionally introduced misrepresentations of the science, it could damage the discipline as a whole. AI tools are useful, but the mission-critical nature of your work as a scientist behooves you to get your paper checked, even after an AI has edited it, by an expert human. And, perhaps that’s where we at FORTE could help your paper shine.

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