AI & herbalism: Real Risks


  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,102 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Unfortunately AI has proven to be untrustworthy in so many ways it is astounding that folks have a hard time seeing that.

    If anyone needs to see how ineffective it can be, just choose any web search on any browser, be it Google, Bing, Internet Explorer or whatever. Search for one item. How many results do you get that have nothing to do with what your search was? Or search a shopping site, Amazon, or whoever. Many of the results if not most have nothing to do with your search.

    If AI can't handle something that simple how can we trust it for more important things?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,632 admin

    During searches for info on specific plants, I will often find the same info repeated word for word on many different sites. Those sites will often come up first so a deep dive is usually needed to avoid the repetition of something that might not even be true. Don't believe something just because it has been repeated many times.

    So, good cautions on doing due diligence when it comes to research, particularly for something that is going to be used to treat your health.

    Find sources that you can trust. Some are listed in the article. Look for scientific studies when doing research. Google Scholar is better at narrowing down searches to science than some of the other search engines.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,513 admin
    edited August 2023

    I have found that same phenomenon with word for word articles.

    I recently took part in a webinar where people were talking about posts on forums and how some members were using AI to answer questions on these forums. Some "members" turned out to be scammers after just a few posts, but some were members that, instead of sharing their real life knowledge & experiences, they were posting answers that they got from AI.

    Often, these "answers" had the same repeated word throughout instead if changing it up here & there, and had incorrect information. In some cases, AI can in fact give dangerous information. Some things will just seem off. Sometimes it is repetition or conflicting information. AI is just sweeping everything the internet says and formulating something from that.

    I will be watching for replies that have signs of being AI answered. I don't believe we've had any if those show here yet. It is not something I would welcome here the to the risk it poses in all the areas we cover, and its lack of authenticity. Real people passing on their own experiences & knowledge, that is what we are about at TGN.

    I shared some concerning & spectacularly wild/incorrect herbal information with @Torey a few months ago. These articles were on one site & had one guy's name attached as the author. My suspicion, considering the craziness of the article, is that the "author" was posting AI generated articles. They were very confusing & potentially dangerous. Not everything will be so obvious as those articles, so we need to be very careful.

    As for reliable sources & authors, we can always reference those listed in our subcategories found here as well:

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,915 ✭✭✭✭✭

    First I have to say I am a cynic, with that said I can see big Pharma using AI to discredit herbalists and herbal remedies.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,456 admin
  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,019 ✭✭✭✭

    I agree completely and I have another issue. I see herbalism as part science part art. I believe there are nuances, intuitions and answers that can only come from experience and spending time really getting to know the plants you are working with. I believe in creating a sacred relationship with them and by doing so they will in turn make whatever you create with them the best it can be. To me this is all part of the art of herbalism and can't be duplicated by AI.

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,915 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To me what AI lacks is common sense.

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