Artificial Intelligence

Swiss national funder sets out stance on artificial intelligence

SNSF tells applicants use of AI is their “personal responsibility”

The Swiss National Science Foundation has set out its stance on the use of artificial intelligence by applicants for its funding, telling researchers they are solely responsible for any ethical and legal implications.

Use of AI in research and academia has been increasing in recent years, in particular since advanced tools capable of generating text in response to queries began to be launched about a year ago.

Such uses in research include summarising literature, translating texts, improving the phrasing of papers, or even preparing grant applications, the Swiss funder said.

“The SNSF would like to emphasise that researchers who use AI for their work are wholly responsible for the results produced,” it said on 28 February.

Matthias Egger, president of the National Research Council, warned: “Researchers must ensure that the principles of scientific integrity are observed at all times.”

This applies to data protection and confidentiality, but researchers should also pay particular attention to correct refencing of sources to avoid plagiarism, the funder warned.

The SNSF said it is using AI itself to process funding applications and is looking into the technology’s further potential, but insisted that “applicants may rest assured that their applications will be treated in the strictest confidence”.

The statement echoes other research funders that have emphasised personal responsibility with regards to the use of AI.