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  • The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is rapidly changing society in fast-moving and unpredictable ways. The practice of ophthalmology, and ophthalmic research, are as affected by these changes as any other segment of society. 

    The Academy understands and supports efforts to conduct cutting-edge research in the field of ophthalmology, including novel applications of AI such as generative AI and large language models. 

    As a leading source of ophthalmic knowledge, the Academy creates publications such as the Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC®), the Ophthalmology family of journals, EyeNet, the Preferred Practice Pattern® guidelines, Ophthalmic Technology Assessments and other online and print resources that provide an unparalleled source of information for training AI systems such as large language models.  

    These and other publications are protected by both U.S. and international copyright laws, as well as contractual provisions such as the Academy’s Terms of Service. Without first seeking permission to use these copyrighted materials, individuals and organizations may infringe the Academy’s rights.  

    In addition to intellectual property issues, AI can present concerns regarding data privacy, the accuracy of content online (including liability for erroneous information), patient safety, and discrimination. The Academy believes it is imperative to proceed carefully in this area to both protect its valuable intellectual property as well as the interests of its membership. 

    To balance these concerns and obligations with the research opportunities presented by AI, the Academy has, pursuant to express written agreements, permitted researchers applying AI technologies to use Academy materials. While the Academy reviews every request on its own terms, the Academy reserves its rights to decide in its sole discretion whether or not to permit use of Academy materials.  

    Generally speaking, researchers must be able to clearly delimit the intended scope of use of Academy materials, acknowledge the permission granted by the Academy, and provide reasonable assurances that the inputs for the research will not be retained by the AI system at issue, because the material is copyrighted and protected by law.   

    If you are interested in pursuing ophthalmic research using AI and Academy-owned materials, direct your request for permission to 

    Separately, the Academy describes expectations regarding use of AI in articles submitted for consideration in the Ophthalmology family of journals and in EyeNet Magazine.