A University of Wollongong academic co-authored a submission to a high profile parliamentary committee that was partly composed with AI and riddled with errors. Dr Erin Twyford, a senior lecturer in the School of Business at UOW, was one of four academics who made a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, which has been examining the role of consultancies since bombshell allegations exposed consultancy PwC leaking confidential tax information to its clients. Read more: BlueFloat submits plans for 105 Illawarra turbines, over 300m tall The academics submission focused on how tackling the powerful Big Four of KPMG, Deloitte, PwC and EY would require coordinated action across national boundaries. The submission includes numerous citations, including three to Google Bard, the tech giant's generative AI tool similar to ChatGPT, where the authors list scandals involving the Big Four. Portions of these segments drew the attention of KPMG and Deloitte who pointed out the companies were implicated in scandals they were not involved in or didn't exist. These included a "KPMG 7-Eleven wage theft scandal" that did not occur and allegations that Deloitte was sued by liquidators of collapsed building firm Probuild for failing to audit its accounts properly, despite Deloitte never auditing Probuild. Following this, lead author Professor James Guthrie of Macquarie University wrote a letter apologising to the committee, exonerating his co-authors, including Dr Twyford. "I am solely responsible for the part of the submissions pointed to in these letter," Professor Guthrie wrote. "This was my first time using Google Bard in research, as it had only been released that week. I now realise that AI can generate authoritative-sounding output that can be incorrect, incomplete or biased." A UOW spokesperson apologised for the impact on the inquiry. "Even though the AI-generated data were not provided by a University of Wollongong academic, UOW apologises for the impact that these data have had on the Inquiry and acknowledges that a co-author of the submission is a UOW academic," the spokesperson said. "The University of Wollongong promotes academic excellence in teaching and research, and stands by these fundamental values in its ongoing mission." In February this year, UOW warned students that using AI tools such as ChatGPT in assessments would be considered academic misconduct, and could be penalised. "Be wary of their outputs, as AI tools are not always reliable and the information they produce may be inaccurate or wrong," the email to students read. Our news app has had a makeover, making it faster and giving you access to even more great content. Download The Illawarra Mercury news app in the Apple Store and Google Play.