As many will be aware, there has been a lot of concern about the spread of AI generated text posted on the Stack Exchange network, leading to moderators on several sites standing down. See here and also here.
My question is not about the spread of misinformation as such, but rather whether various corpora such as the Mark Davies corpora including COCA, BNC, iWeb and NOW may be being contaminated by AI generated texts, and if so, what can be done about this.
It is clear that, at the most basic level, we cannot understand the frequency with which certain terms are used or collocate with others in actual human speech or writing if the data actually show how often ChatGPT, for example, produces these terms.
Are corpora in general, and the Mark Davies corpora in particular under threat from, or perhaps already contaminated by, AI-produced texts?
What, if anything, can be done about this?
The purpose of mentioning the Stack Exchange issues concerning AI-generated text is just to demonstrate that this is not a hypothetical question about a future phenomenon that may not occur, but is a question about what demonstrably is already happening: i.e. AI generated language appearing where it may be taken for human speech.