AI usage policy

AI for Research

AI can be very effective for summarising texts to give answers to technical questions. For example, a scientific paper on complicated material science can be passed to a natural-language processing AI tool which can then be asked “According to this paper, how does temperature affect the failure strength of austenitic stainless steels?” This is an appropriate and allowed use of AI tools within the UKSDC. Indeed, this is a very effective research tool, so long as you cross-reference the answer given with the content of the paper.

AI for Text Generation

Many AI tools can generate impressive essays on niche subjects, pulling facts and figures out of nowhere, seemingly by magic. Unfortunately, this information is too frequently untrue and unreferenced for it to be acceptable for use within the UKSDC. We can often tell where text has been generated in this way, and the judges will definitely know after questioning!

AI for Image Generation

We have all been wowed by the creative ability of AI to respond to prompts and generate artwork, and this technology does have a place within the UKSDC. RFPs often ask for concept art, and these tools can be used for that. Such tools are not adequate for technical drawings at the time of writing (March 2023). There is an ongoing debate about copyright and intellectual property surrounding these tools, as they sometimes only loosely modify existing artwork that can be found on the internet. The UKSDC asks you to make best efforts to credit source materials and to follow the referencing standard that academia adopts for this technology.

RFP points do not ask for concept art simply to fill up slides, however: we ask for it to help understand your vision for the settlement that you’re designing. Therefore, we ask you to list all the keywords used for the generation of the imagery for the judges to assess the specificity, character, and uniqueness of your concept. Keywords such as “sci-fi town street” as the main control would be inadequate, while “20 metre wide by 40 metre long street with bicycle lanes, crop planters and buildings with glass fronts and ivy” would be acceptable.