Monumental Peer-Review Fail: Bizarre AI Generated Rat-Penis Images and Blatant Mis-spellings.

Is the this the ultimate proof of the worthlessness of the peer-reviewal process? Proof of the worthlessness of AI? Both? You decide! Martin

In what has been a good week for rats, but a terrible one for science, the academic journal Frontiers retracted a viral paper published with nonsensical, AI-generated images.

Emily Dreibelbis
Fri, 16 Feb 2024 

© Frontiers

Academic Journal Retracts Study After AI-Generated Rat Penis Pics Go Viral The images, created with Midjourney, feature misspelled labels like ‘dck’ and ‘testtomcels.’ In its apology, the journal, Frontiers, gives a weak explanation for what happened.

The paper, titled “Cellular functions of spermatogonial stem cells in relation to JAK/STAT signaling pathway,” was published on Feb. 13, 2024, and promptly made the rounds on social media for its outlandish images of a rat’s penis.

The authors of the study — Xinyu Guo, Liang Dong, and Dingjun Hao — reportedly used Midjourney to create the images. It’s unclear what prompt the authors put into Midjourney. Perhaps “cross section of rat penis”? At any rate, it resulted in an oversized phallus they apparently did not find objectionable.

AI image generators are notorious for misspellings, including Midjourney, resulting in diagram labels such as “dck” (dick) and “testtomcels” (testicles), though it did correctly identify “rat.” The authors, who are Chinese, submitted the paper for review, which was then edited by someone in India, and reviewed by two more people, one in the US and one in India.

As images circulated online, scientists pointed out vast inaccuracies across all of them and questioned the peer review process.

The US-based reviewer, Jingbo Dai of Northwestern University, apparently noticed the inaccurate images in the study but failed to ensure it was not published. He told Vice it was his responsibility to review the paper for its “scientific aspects” and recommended asking Frontiers about its “policy of AI-generated figures.”

Two days after publication, Frontiers pulled the study from the site and conducted an investigation. It then officially retracted it on Feb. 16, 2024, and issued an apology.

© Frontiers

“Thanks to the crowdsourcing dynamic of open science, we promptly acted upon the community feedback on the AI-generated figures in the article,” Frontiers says. “We sincerely apologize to the scientific community for this mistake and thank our readers who quickly brought this to our attention.”

In Frontiers‘ what-the-heck-happened-here investigation, it found one of the reviewers did indeed raise concerns about the figures and requested author revisions, which was ignored. “We are investigating how our processes failed to act on the lack of author compliance with the reviewers’ requirements,” Frontiers says.

© Frontiers

Frontiers seems to absolve itself of responsibility with this disclaimer: “All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.”

Martin comments: I could not help but notice the name of one of the authors: Liang Dong? Wonder if he feels like a dick…

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Martin Harris

I have a lovely partner and 3 very active youngsters. We live in the earthquake ravaged Eastern Suburbs of Christchurch, New Zealand. I began commenting/posting on Uncensored back in early 2012 looking for discussion and answers on the cause and agendas relating to our quakes. I have always maintained an interest in ancient mysteries, UFOs, hidden agendas, geoengineering and secret societies and keep a close eye on current world events. Since 2013 I have been an active member of community, being granted admin status and publishing many blogs and discussion threads. At this time I'm now helping out with admin and moderation duties here at Uncensored where my online "life" began.

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