It looks like one of the hottest topics—if not the hottest topic—for educational conferences in 2023 is going to be how to handle proposals generated by artificial intelligence (AI) tools, like ChatGPT.
While it is tempting for conference organizers to implement outright bans on AI-generated papers, such bans would not only be hard to enforce—especially as AI-generated text becomes increasingly difficult to detect—they might actually do more harm than good in some cases, like for authors who need to submit papers written in a non-familiar language.
James Vincent over at The Verge has written an excellent piece on the complicated issues facing conference organizers and bans on AI-generated content. (Interestingly, the article focuses on the decision by one of the most prestigious machine-learning conferences to ban all papers generated by machine-learning systems.)
Is your conference ready for AI-generated papers? Share your thoughts below!
UPDATE: So it looks like an industrious computer-science student has already developed software that can detect whether text is generated using ChatGPT. In addition, the company that developed ChatGPT, OpenAI, has said it is not only working on a feature that adds a watermark to the output but also its own tool for detecting ChatGPT-generated text.
ProposalSpace users can now receive email notifications whenever there’s an update to the site.
For years, details about site updates—mostly related to new features—have been posted to the Product Blog. But the only way to know about the posts was to visit the blog periodically. Now, users can sign up to receive an email whenever a post related to site updates is published.
If you are reading this in an email, then good news—you are already signed up! (BTW, this is the first email you should have received, so don’t worry if you haven’t been getting them.)
Continue reading Site Updates
We’ve all been cautioned for years never to open files from suspicious sources. And even if a file is from a trusted source it’s best not to open it until it’s been scanned with antivirus software. Otherwise you run the risk of installing malware, like a Trojan horse, spyware, or ransomware. Opening a file—or even clicking a link—can be one of the easiest ways for hackers to gain control of your computer.
But what if you’re a call admin or reviewer? It’s difficult to assess the quality of submissions without opening documents or following links. This is the security dilemma inherent to every call for proposals: You have to collect content but the only sure-fire way to avoid harm from that content is never to open it.
Unfortunately there is no bulletproof solution. There are, however, a few best practices call admins and reviewers can observe to help reduce their risk:
Continue reading Tips for Avoiding Malware in Submissions
File-upload fields are one of the most convenient ways to collect information from authors. And in some cases, like for photos, there really is no better option.
But one downside to using file-upload fields has been that in order to collect the files, you previously had to pull up each submission and download the files individually.
Not any more! Now you can download files all at once using the Data-export tool.
Continue reading Bulk File Downloads Are Here!
Great news for call admins and review chairs: The Tracker has a new look! 🎉
Continue reading New Tracker Layout
Branching is here! 🎉
The form builders—for both the Main Form and role forms—now allow you to display a question to users based on the answer to a previous question. Sometimes called a “conditional question”, this permits you to set up your forms to collect information only if it is pertinent.
Continue reading New Feature: Branching
Call admins now have the ability to restrict which types of files are allowed for uploads.
The new setting is in two places: the form builder and the Publishing Module. In both cases it is a safelist (as opposed to a blocklist) meaning authors are only allowed to upload files with extensions you specify. Or put another way, authors are prohibited from uploading files not in the list.
Continue reading New Feature: Upload Restrictions
The Publishing Module has a number of exciting improvements in place:
- The module now uses the domain mtgsked.com instead of the main proposalspace.com domain.
- Virtually all of the ProposalSpace-specific branding is gone, making the meeting-specific branding stand out more.
- The meeting name, location, and dates can now be customized in the module’s settings.
- Pages are responsive (i.e. they display nicely on mobile devices).
Continue reading PubMod Updates
Calls using the Advanced Scheduling Module now have a new option when creating admin sessions:
Previously all admin sessions had to be started from scratch. This posed a bit of a challenge, however, if someone wanted to combine multiple submissions into a single session (for a panel discussion, for example).
Now admins have the option of either starting an admin session from scratch or making a copy of a submission or another admin session. Hopefully this helps to minimize the need to copy and paste most, if not all, of the content into the new session.
One of the Review Module’s most useful features has always been the ability for reviewers to save incomplete or provisional reviews. It’s especially handy for reviewers who want to record their initial assessment of a submission then finalize it later, after they’ve analyzed their other assignments.
Up to now, though, there was no way for reviewers to “lock in” their reviews. Unfortunately this meant call admins and review chairs couldn’t be 100% certain a review was ever final, even after the review deadline had passed.
That’s no longer the case! Reviewers now have the option to submit completed reviews, marking them as final for call admins and review chairs. Continue reading Submittable Reviews