Invited Speaker

Dr. Alberto Bartoli, Associate Professor

Dr. Alberto Bartoli, Associate Professor

University of Trieste, Italy
Speech Title: Exploring the potential of GPT-2 for generating fake reviews of research papers

Abstract: Peer review of research papers is a cornerstone of scholarly publishing and is widely believed a crucial element for ensuring quality of published research. Peer review must be done by experts in the specific field and must be fair, accurate and timely. Satisfying these essential requirements is becoming more and more difficult, which could encourage certain publishers to not perform stringent peer reviews in order to expand their customer base and attract more submissions from authors. Indeed, the incentives that drive the behaviors of the many actors involved in scholarly publishing---authors, publishing companies, conference organizers, editors, reviewers, research institutions---do not necessarily lead to an overall scientific progress and have often resulted in various forms of questionable behavior if not plain fraud.

In this work we explore the feasibility of a novel form of scholarly fraud based on the automatic generation of fake review reports for academic papers, i.e., of a few sentences with just some generic criticisms or recommendations broadly related to the textual content of a submission and written with the style of an anonymous reviewer. A tool capable of generating such reports automatically and for free would magnify the potential for various forms of unethical behavior by publishers and reviewers. Recent developments in “artificial intelligence” have enabled various applications able to emulate the behavior of a human to an extent that appeared not possible just a few years ago. In this work we will explore possible usage of modern natural language processing tools for crafting fake scientific reviews automatically.

Keywords: natural language generation, natural language processing, academic fraud, artificial intelligence, bibliometry

Biography: Alberto received his degree in Electrical Engineering (cum laude) and his PhD in Computer Engineering in 1989 and 1994, respectively, both from the University of Pisa, Italy. He served as a Technical Officer in the Italian Navy (1990) and as a Researcher at the University of Pisa (1993-1998). Alberto is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Trieste, Italy, since 1998. He served as Dean of the Computer Engineering degree (2001-2012), Dean of the PhD programme (2002-2008), Deputy Rector for ICT (2016-2018). He has been awarded the Silver Medal at the 13-th Human-Competitive Results produced by Evolutionary and Genetic Computation (HUMIES, 2016) and the Best Paper Award at the 21st European Conference on Genetic Programming (EuroGP, 2018). He has been awarded as Teacher of the Year for the exceptionally positive evaluations by students (2015). He is currently the Director of the Machine Learning Lab at the University of Trieste.

Research Interests: Cybersecurity, Machine Learning applications, Evolutionary and Genetic Computation.