As part of my Community TSC Representative commitments, I wanted to address the topic of policies around Generative AI in the ROS Community Code of Conduct (or I suppose another locale?). This is for obvious legal rationale, but also making a uniform process across the ROS community in how we deal with generative AI software so we can streamline contribution in a complex new world.
Also, some maintainers (including myself) have already had to engage with users creating numerous superfluous pull requests adding random AI generated code into random spots, with AI generated PR text that makes no sense. While the legality of code lifted from projects it was trained on is still not settled law, setting some policies so we can identify, track, and respect each other’s time seems like a place to start regardless.
My aim with this post is to provide my first-draft of such a policy to get others feedback and adjust it into a proposal to present to the TSC in December. Please take a look below and let me know what I missed, any questions, disagreements, etc!
In order to track and manage generative AI produced software, the following policies are put in place:
To respect maintainers’ time and efforts, Generative AI must not be used in Pull Request or comment message bodies. Please state the software’s goals and respond to your fellow developers in your own words. Violations may be subject to summary closure of pull requests.
A pull request containing Generative AI derived software must explicitly state AI was used to create some proportion of the software.
A comment must be added around code created by Generative AI indicating that it is generated by such. Do not present AI created code as original work if it is not substantive modified or combined with other developer contributions.
All code generated using AI should be closely scrutinized and tested for accuracy, understandability, and efficiency by a developer before submitting it for community review.
Due to the current (November 2023) legal ambiguity of generative AI-based software such as those generated by ChatGPT, it is the responsibility of a developer representing an organization to ensure that their contributions do not violate copyright or software licenses. Software uniquely generated by AI is not currently subject to copyright, but software that has been copied by generative AI tools may be subject to the original author’s copyright and licensing terms.