European Commission Publishes Guidelines on Responsible Use of AI in Research

The European Commission, together with the European Research Area countries and stakeholders, has published a set of guidelines to help the European research community – including researchers, research organisations, and research funders – use Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) responsibly.

While many academic institutions and organisations across Europe have been developing guidelines on the use of GenAI, the new guidelines are designed to ensure that a coherent approach applies across Europe. The guidelines have integrity at their heart and are designed to balance the benefits of the technology, such as improved speed and convenience, with its potential risks, including plagiarism, revealing sensitive information, or inherent biases in the models.

Key takeaways from the guidelines include:

  • Researchers refrain from using generative AI tools in sensitive activities such as peer reviews or evaluations and use generative AI respecting privacy, confidentiality, and intellectual property rights.
  • Research organisations should facilitate the responsible use of generative AI and actively monitor how these tools are developed and used within their organisations.
  • Funding organisations should support applicants in using generative AI transparently.

Contact us

Find out more about ResearchConnect

The guidelines are not binding and aim to take into account already existing frameworks for the use of AI both in general and in research specifically, such as the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity and the guidelines on trustworthy AI. Users of the new guidelines are encouraged to adapt them to their specific contexts and situations, keeping proportionality in mind.

Commenting on the new guidelines, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Iliana Ivanova said:

‘Generative AI can hugely boost research, but its use demands transparency and responsibility. These guidelines aim to uphold scientific integrity and preserve public trust in science amidst rapid technological advancements. I call on the scientific community to join us in turning these guidelines into the reference for European research.’

As generative AI is constantly evolving, the guidelines will be updated with regular feedback from the scientific community and stakeholders. All interested stakeholders are invited to submit their feedback on the guidelines via the dedicated portal.

(This Bulletin article was the subject of a ResearchConnect news alert.)