• The AI research paper was real. The “co-author” wasn’t

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    David Cox, the co-director of a prestigious artificial intelligence lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was scanning an online computer science bibliography in December when he noticed something odd—his name listed as an author alongside three researchers in China whom he didn’t know on two papers he didn’t recognize.

    At first, he didn’t think much of it. The name Cox isn’t uncommon, so he figured there must be another David Cox doing AI research. “Then I opened up the PDF and saw my own picture looking back at me,” Cox says. “It was unbelievable.”

    It isn’t clear how prevalent this kind of academic fraud may be or why someone would list as a co-author someone not involved in the research. By checking other papers written by the same Chinese authors, WIRED found a third example, where the photo and biography of an MIT researcher were listed under a fictitious name.
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