Evidence pyramids are amongst the most recognisable artefacts of the Evidence-Based Medicine movement. Yet no study has established the origins of evidence pyramids, or analysed whether they offer any information beyond simple lists or tables. In this paper, I establish the origins of the first evidence pyramid and argue that the pyramidal turn is a retrograde step in evidence appraisal.
What skills do social scientists need to adapt to generative AI, and how should educators approach teaching them? A narrow focus on training everyone in technical skills is misguided – what’s needed is authorial voice, leadership and management skills, and the critical force of the social sciences.
Can a language model outperform old Edward Lear in describing philosophers in Limerick form? “There once was a Scotsman named Hume…”
Will large language models acknowledge authorship of their own generated texts? Will a language model claim authorship or ownership of texts which it did not create? A mistaken comprehension of ChatGPT’s abilities throws up a distinctive problem of intellectual property rights.
What is the relationship between perplexity, creativity and novelty? Following on from ‘Perplexing Perplexity’, I set out to demonstrate that high perplexity texts are not always creative, and to showcase ChatGPT’s ability to work with and even generate novel words – culminating in the Tale of Zonkamoozle.
Detectors such as GPTZero use the property of ‘perplexity’ to try to detect AI authorship of texts. But I show that by writing in a specifically dull style, or engineering the prompt given to a language model, we can easily and systematically fool such detectors to label AI text as human and vice versa.
A recent study by Gao et al. (2022) validates the warning of ‘Machine Evidence’ (Blunt, 2019) that language models would soon become capable of beating detection attempts by human peer reviewers. This piece looks at the near-term steps that journal editors and conference organisers can take to prevent AI-generated abstracts bypassing their screening processes, along with a warning for the long-term viability of those strategies.
Can a new iteration of GPT-3 write pop songs, raps and limericks…about Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative? It is a moral duty to find out.
Does the ranking of a UK university in league tables affect its reputation and name recognition? Using a novel data source from an online quiz, this research explores the complex relationship between league table rank and identifiability of universities.
The Machine Scientists – Giovanni Borelli, Jan Swammerdam and Niels Steensen – followed Rene Descartes in modelling the human body mechanically. The scientific success of this ‘iatrophysical’ programme, replete with rejected entities such as ‘Animal Spirits’, poses a problem for Scientific Realism. Using Psillos’ moderate realism, this paper attempts to reconcile a selective realist position with the historical record.