UPDATE - 19th March

enter image description here

This update is to inform all parties concerned that the banner change has been implemented and it will show up on the answer tab as a reminder. The tag is displayed on this question.

When Sasha (the Community Manager) first informed, it was accidentally put up on Chem Meta and now it has been put up at the right place.

The above screenshot has been placed as an evidence for the same.

The banner appears when you click on the answer pane to type your answer.

With this, the voting is henceforth closed and any further upvotes / downvotes to the choices are deemed invalid.

Once again, a gentle reminder to everyone to please avoid using content generated by LLMs like GPT, Bard as they don't provide answers to the expectations of this community. The high standards of ChemSE are due to the various contributions of diligent and knowledgeable academia and users and we, as the ChemistrySE community, must strive to maintain this.

Ending this with Newton's quote:

"If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants."

We are all able to see further because we are standing on the shoulders of all the tedious research and fathomless hardwork of various chemists and chemistry academia. They still are our most reliable source - thus, let's all stick to that.

February 4th, 2024

Original Post

The community decided to start a poll regarding the level of restriction of AI to implement on the site and the associated banner to be presented to users posting new questions. The quotes that follow are from the Main Meta post and the ensuing discussion on ChemSE Meta linked for users to know the background of this post.

Users are requested to upvote their favored banner to be implemented on ChemSE from the two available choices, presented as answers to this post.

January 31, 2024 Update

TL;DR: The Community Team will work on drafting a network-wide Help Center article that explains that AI-generated content is prohibited unless it is posted with appropriate attribution, and then making the “answers must be cited” variant below the default option for all network sites. More details in the coming weeks.

As was pointed out in the comment thread by Joe W (thank you!), our current Code of Conduct (more specifically, its Inauthentic Usage policy) prohibits posting AI-generated content without appropriate attribution (explanation here). With that in mind, it doesn’t make sense that the “answers must be cited” variant, shown below as one of the possible two options for sites to opt-in to, would be optional. As such, we’ll be rolling out the “answers must be cited” option as the default for all Stack Exchange sites in the coming weeks. Sorry for the crossed wires on this, making for a slightly messier roll-out than originally planned.

Since a part of the originally proposed process for sites to request any of the two variants was that they’d need to agree on language for a Help Center article that explains their site’s policy on AI-generated content, before making that rollout, I’ll be drafting a Help Center article that’s supposed to be available on all network sites, and coming back to Meta Stack Exchange for feedback on it before publishing it. The idea is that that article would serve as the bare minimum for all sites, and sites would then be able to further tweak their policy to suit their needs, either by iterating on the “answers must be cited” policy, or by going through the request process laid out below to request the banner be changed to the “not allowed” variant instead.

I’ll make a separate post to gather feedback on the Help Center article draft, but will update this post once that’s up.

[...scrolling down...]

Next steps:

  • All sites in the Stack Exchange network will be able to opt in (the feature is off by default, network-wide)

  • We will initially offer two banner text options that all sites in the Stack Exchange network can opt-in to. Those options are the following:

  • **Reminder**: Answers generated by artificial intelligence tools are not allowed on [Site Name]. Learn more [authoritative] (implemented by Stack Overflow)

  • **Reminder**: Answers generated by artificial intelligence tools must be cited on [Site Name]. Learn more [liberal]

  • The banner will display once users select the answer field

  • The “new contributor” banner will no longer be shown in the answer field

  • All users will see this banner when posting an answer with the option to dismiss. Once dismissed, logged-in users will not see this banner again.

ChemSE Meta post discussing AI restriction banners

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I need to be honest: I hate every part of this. We've never opted to include a banner like this: Reminder: Please post correct answers. I'm sorry, but I think the whole thing is just a waste of space. Peeps who are going to troll with "AI" answers will troll. It'll be the same queues and the same votes and the same strain. And in all fairness, there are legitimate uses of LLMs. But I will never discuss this on the site. And just to clarify: I hate all of this, but especially the fact that we're now dealing with this nonsense on meta. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 6 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン I interpret your comment to mean that AI is not a serious problem and addressing it is a waste of time. But it's a brave new world. Better to engage this stuff while it's still relatively easy, before AI matures. The discussion extends beyond the policies of the site to its (and our) general purpose. I have found the discussion somewhat illuminating. And if you feel confident regarding your position on the subject, why not share how you have reasoned through this? $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Commented Feb 9 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ If your opinion is specific to the requirement of a banner, and the external imposition of this requirement, my counterargument is that Chem SE is not an isolated island. It is for better or worse part of the SE ecosystem. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Commented Feb 9 at 11:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Buck I'm following down the rabbit hole: I do think "AI" is a serious problem, actually a very serious problem. Not for this site in particular, but as a "concept" in general. I think that GPT tools are going to spiral towards mediocrity and meaninglessness for the average person. And they are going to feed themselves in no time. As of now, I feel confident to identify sub-standard posts, no matter who/what wrote them. I'm open for discussion on a very general level, and even on the aspects and impacts on this site; not here though. If you're patient enough Chemistry Chat might be a place. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 10 at 0:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン see, AI is just a newborn baby, IMO. It has got a lot to learn before it can even think at a human level. Even then, it would still lack the amount of 6th sense we've got. However, given the Meta's requirements, we would have to choose whether we are taking a prohibitory approach or an allowed-but-please-inform-that-you-have-used-AI approach. Right now ChatGPT fares worse than my rickety old calculator that I have at home. It says that 1+2=5! The human mind is best suited at discerning the truth. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 10 at 1:32
  • $\begingroup$ If we're talking about "AI" in the sense of an LLM, then this will never think. They will never rise to the quality of human thought, they will never have integral quality control. In other words: AI will regurgitate nonsense to the end of time. The other type of scenario is the rise of the machines, but that takes actual AI. But there are still legitimate uses of LLM. So it's definitely not black and white. The banner still won't help. Any further discussion that doesn't pertain to this, should be in chat. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 10 at 10:24
  • $\begingroup$ If I were a mod here, then I would say, 'Ok, use AI or an LLM, but it is completely upon the user to verify the correctness of the content he's posting.' Even then we have a system wherein non-useful answers are heavily cracked down upon. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 10 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ Talk about double-think: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/398127/… $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Commented Mar 12 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ That's... to say the least... confusing. Talk about controlling AI usage and then making a partnership with an AI (that too, a notorious one!) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12 at 12:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BuckThorn does that Meta post deserve a separate discussion? It's so confusing.. the number of downvotes also shows it... $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I started a new post just to bring attention to it. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Commented Mar 13 at 7:21

2 Answers 2


Option 1

I vote for

Reminder: Answers generated by artificial intelligence tools are not allowed on Chemistry Stack Exchange. Learn more

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please consider my vote for this. I am not able to vote as it is my post (though I have put it in community wiki). $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 5 at 1:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This banner has now been enabled. $\endgroup$
    – Sasha StaffMod
    Commented Mar 18 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Sasha it's there on Chem Meta but not on ChemSE itself. Can you please recheck? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 19 at 1:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ thanks for pointing that out, that was my mistake. I accidentally implemented the change on meta instead of the main site, it has now been reversed. $\endgroup$
    – Sasha StaffMod
    Commented Mar 19 at 14:34

Option 2

I vote for

Reminder: Answers generated by artificial intelligence tools must be cited on Chemistry Stack Exchange. Learn more

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ "Must be cited" What kind of stupid wording is that? AI doesn't cite anything, and saying you used it hardly makes the post better. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Feb 5 at 1:59
  • $\begingroup$ Must be cited - in the sense that we must tell explicitly that AI generated content has been included. Atleast that's my understanding. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 5 at 3:09
  • $\begingroup$ ChatGPT doesn't cite anything but Bing Copilot does. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 5 at 3:11

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