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Could be totally off base but due to quite peculiar syntax it seems some of the responses here could be derived via Artificial Intelligence. Even if this is not the case, to protect the integrity of Buddhism, would BSE consider taking any measures to prevent AI bots here?

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    It might help to include those responses in your question?
    – Max
    Oct 2 '21 at 19:40
  • This sounds like a topic for BSE Meta and not BSE, right? If yes, the moderators can migrate it there.
    – ruben2020 Mod
    Oct 2 '21 at 21:18
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    If you have specific examples, please provide it here in the question.
    – ruben2020 Mod
    Oct 3 '21 at 5:07
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    I believe you're talking about the unconventional grammar and overuse of Buddhist jargon shared by a lot of new accounts. That's just Samana Johann. He's peculiar indeed, but not a bot. Oct 3 '21 at 5:32
  • I tried to post an answer, but without your posting example of the type of "responses with peculiar syntax" that you're asking about, it's very possible that I didn't understand your question.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Oct 3 '21 at 7:59
  • I think @viptrongproz98 is right, i.e. that you're probably referring to these questions -- here and here. They were posted by Samana Johann (i.e. not an AI bot at all). These questions didn't get good (i.e. upvoted) answers so they were recently "bumped" to the top of the Active view by the so-called Community user.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Oct 3 '21 at 8:41
  • Perhaps this type of question might not be welcome, or might be moderated -- if it can't be understood at all, if it's "preaching", if there are too many of them -- but not because they are AI (they are not). Samana Johann's answers can also be difficult to read sometimes, and he does use several accounts (because he won't "register" an account and so the system frequently assigns a new account); I think his answers are often good answers, sometimes the best.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Oct 3 '21 at 8:45
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    I'll note that there are a couple of users who use stylized language for sectarian reasons (which may seem peculiar to outsiders). If you're thinking about the user who answered your last question while referring to you as 'good householder', he's not a bot. In his beliefs, it is important to make the distinction between monastics and lay practitioners, and to studiously avoid certain language structures that promote self-identity. It makes his posts a little hard to read, but it's inoffensive. Oct 8 '21 at 16:00
  • Wow, was not expecting the compartmentalization or porting of this question and such a flurry of responses on this. And don't know if this is or could be related or not but was wondering about the amount of users with names like user0000 and their origins (although obviously don't answer that because of privacy)
    – vimutti
    Oct 13 '21 at 13:51
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One of the more obvious ways -- to me the only obvious way -- in which "Artificial Intelligence" might be used for creating posts on this site, is someone using a translation tool (like Google Translate or others).

I expect people might do this when they don't write English themselves. And I think that doing so is unobjectionable, that in general we want to welcome users, and not discriminate against or discourage those for whom English isn't their first or even one of their second languages.

You might, similarly, find some "quite peculiar syntax" from people who are themselves translating into English without a translation tool -- some simple examples that I know of, Russian doesn't have articles ("the" and "a"), German sentences sometimes have a different word order (with a verb at the end), and so on.

Even "correct" English sounds unusual if you refer to everyone including yourself in the third person, or use anything archaic, which some people do when they try to write formally (i.e. in the so-called static register), especially if they don't do it well (because their English isn't fluent).

Note that we are all welcome or even encouraged to improve the language -- grammar, syntax, spelling -- of any post, to make it more easily understandable. I do that sometimes, my reasoning being that as I'm a fairly expert user of English I might be able to understand badly-written or non-standard English that another user might not. My experience is also that automated translation tools fail to translate a word that's mis-spelled, so again, correcting the spelling and so on of a post make it easier for people to translate if they want to.


That said, another type of "bot" on the internet is the type that's used for spamming, i.e. for posting an advertisement on 100s of sites including this one. That kind of post is not tolerated, and is deleted. The deletion is remarkably quick, often within minutes, so you might see spam sometimes but not often and not for long.


More generally the users of this site do prefer "sincere" questions, i.e. a question for which an actual human wants an answer -- see this answer for example:

Personally, I find seeded questions irksome.

It's hard to create and enforce a rule about the intent of people who post, but we do sometimes.


Also there is more-or-less a rule against posting the same answer more than once to multiple questions -- we'd expect that different questions would get different answers, and if you post the same answer to all questions then it's not a good answer.

A repeated post might possibly be good advice, without being a good answer -- see Answers vs Advice

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  • Yes, it seems bots and ai would have to be investigated forensically on the technical side because it seems some of them are so good now many humans can't discern them. All depends on the intent of their creators and/or their intent if/when becoming autonomous
    – vimutti
    Oct 13 '21 at 13:55
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Stack Exchange's own bots are pretty harmless, and generally do clean-up activities like mass-correcting linked URLs. They also bring up some old questions to the top of the feed to encourage activity.

But what if there are external bots which are writing questions and answers?

Well, Stack Exchange also monitors for unusual activities like spamming, vandalism, mass upvoting or mass downvoting. For e.g. sock puppet accounts can be detected by the system.

And beyond that, users can flag posts, and moderators can take action. We've had commercial spammers, religious missionary spammers and vandals posting gibberish or inappropriate content in the past, and we have almost always swiftly deleted their posts.

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  • Great, then it would be no big deal to draft protocol -- if not already existing -- for any and all interested (independent) 3rd parties to audit Buddhism.stackexchange.com and other "areas" needed to complete such auditing, right?
    – vimutti
    Nov 27 '21 at 22:19

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