Artificial Intelligence (AI) usage policy for Microsoft Q&A

Using Artificial Intelligence tools on Microsoft Q&A

AI tools have garnered a lot of attention as they have become more accessible to individuals with the quickly growing popularity of ChatGPT.

It is no surprise that we have seen an uptick in the number of contributors across Microsoft Q&A who have begun to use these tools to answer some of the questions that are being asked on the platform.

Earlier this year at Microsoft BUILD 2023, Q&A Assist was announced in a limited public preview.

Q&A Assist is a set of AI based tools that can help find answers to similar questions that are being posted by a user, can assist question authors in composing a complete and clear question to improve the chances of getting an answer, and also allows a user to ask the AI to generate an answer to their question.

While these tools are focused on assisting question authors with resolving their technical issues when they arrive on the platform to ask their question, there is not currently any options to use these tools in answering questions that have already been posted.

This document should help clarify Microsoft Q&A’s policy about using AI tools to answer existing questions and make clear how platform moderators will address the use of AI tools that do not adhere to this policy.

Current AI usage policy for Microsoft Q&A

There are three main elements that cover the permitted use of AI tools in answering questions on Microsoft Q&A:

  • The answer must clearly indicate it was fully or partially provided by an AI service. It is also necessary to list which service generated the initial response.
  • Any AI-generated answer should be validated before posting, to verify the response does provide an appropriate solution to the question author's question. This should be noted as part of the answer.
  • If the AI service provides attribution links, these should also be included along with the AI response for proper context.

Failure to follow these three steps when using AI on Microsoft Q&A could result in removal of the content and possible suspension of a user’s Microsoft Q&A access for repeated violations of the policy.

Moderator actions for AI-generated content on Microsoft Q&A

If a moderator finds AI-generated content on the platform that is in violation of the above requirements, they may take the following steps to rectify the situation:

  • Reply to the content with a comment reminding the user about the platform's AI policy with guidance to adhere to the three key elements listed above.
  • Remove the violating content if it is not updated in accordance with this policy after the user has been properly notified about the violation and has not taken action to resolve it.
  • Suspend the users account for violations and failing to update the content in accordance with this AI usage policy.

Use of alternative accounts to circumvent a suspension, would be considered in violation of our Code of Conduct for Microsoft Q&A.

Appeals process for deletions or suspensions due to AI usage on Microsoft Q&A

Any user who disagrees with the removal of content on Q&A under the AI usage policy or an account suspension for these violations, may appeal those actions to this email address.

In closing

We have a wide variety of contributors to Microsoft Q&A. Some have years of experience in using many of the products and services that are supported here on Microsoft Q&A and can quickly answer questions from that experience. Some are very familiar with the documentation on Microsoft Learn and can quickly find a reference to help a user resolve a technical issue, others are very skillful using search engines to find existing solutions to these problems.

AI is another evolving tool that will help solve technical issues that users are experiencing with Microsoft products and services like existing subject matter knowledge, documentation, and existing published solutions already provided.

The key here is attribution of where the provided answers come from so that the original question author is fully informed about the source of the answer being provided. This will provide clarity and transparency for all those who later come to benefit from the answers that are provided across Microsoft Q&A.

If you have any questions about this policy and process, please post your questions in the Microsoft Q&A tag and the team will get back with you as soon as possible.