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We've recently had two questions from relative newcomers, here and here, where ChatGBT provided nonsense answers to their questions and those newcomers came to us for help.

We're supposed to be welcoming and supportive of newcomers. The response was anything but that. Suppose the newcomer didn't mention that the confusion was from using ChatGBT. They read some nonsense on the internet, quoted it, but didn't provide a source. ChatGBT isn't the only source that provides nonsense. We often get questions about pure garbage written in pop-sci articles, written without the help of artificial intelligence. When I see those, I generally try to clear up the confusion, with an admonishment to take what's written in pop-sci literature with a grain of salt.

We get one or two of those "clear up my confusion over this article" type of questions per week. So far, we've received one question per week about garbage spewed by ChatGBT. I suggest that we suspend our hostile behavior (huge downvotes, rude comments, and immediate votes to close) on questions that result from confusion over ChatGBT nonsense. (But definitely not answers written with the help of ChatGBT. For now, it writes really nice sentences and paragraphs that far too often are complete nonsense.)

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I firmly agree. No matter how big of an influx it may cause, I think we should absolutely accept questions of the form: "I read this information [here], but I couldn't find any source for that. Is it accurate?" These types of questions are excellent outreach and a good opportunity to correct common misconceptions.

Even if the source of that information is ChatGPT, I think we should answer it, because there are still a lot of people who don't realize the danger of using ChatGPT as a source of factual information.

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    $\begingroup$ That said, the questions should obviously still otherwise be held to the standards of the site. They should be clear, answerable, non-trivial, and not primarily opinion based. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Jan 13 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ And hopefully not a photo of the ChatGBT interaction. Photos of textbooks, articles, etc., are something the community tend to be frowned upon (including by me). $\endgroup$ Jan 13 at 14:07
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidHammen Yes, absolutely. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Jan 13 at 14:34
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    $\begingroup$ Oh nuts. I can't reselect this as the accepted answer. I had selected it but decided against doing so until receiving more input. $\endgroup$ Jan 13 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ The "but I couldn't find any source for that" needs to be genuine; in good faith. The example question can be researched by typing "curiosity rover cpu" into a search engine, or going directly to the Curiosity Wikipedia page, or several other ways. Questions based on ONLY chatterbot answers without any evidence of even a minimal effort of using known-to-be-reasonable methods for finding information can be generated at a kHz algorithmically. "Chatterbot sez X, is it true?" questions don't meet the minimum standard for an SE question right now. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jan 13 at 22:57
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    $\begingroup$ Suggesting that chatterbots are any kind of a go-to source for facts does a tremendous disservice. Right now "Chatterbot sez X, is it true?" should be off-topic at least temporarily, which is why I asked about a temporary ban on chatbot content. They'll improve, but DH's request to keep it open so a meta-like answer about how to research a question can be posted to a main-site question seems to be gratuitous, unless we'll use it as a close as duplicate example (like we do with "are the Moon landings fake?" questions). $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jan 13 at 23:02
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    $\begingroup$ example of the kind of "Chatterbot sez X, is it true?" in Aviation SE: Is "MATON" real or did ChatGPT just make this up? and a decision not to "...accept questions about information provided by ChatGPT". $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jan 14 at 4:59
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh "the questions should obviously still otherwise be held to the standards of the site" $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Jan 16 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ If you'd consider making that an integral, inseparable part of the answer rather than a lower visibility footnote separate from it, I'd certainly undo my downvote my vote. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jan 16 at 21:14

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