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Generative AI and Academia

An introduction to generative AI for academics

Ways to use AI in the classroom

AI can be used ethically by students and in the classroom.  In addition to the suggestions below some examples are:

  • Using AI to explain complex topics
    • "Explain the offsides rule in soccer"
  • Translating questions or ideas to/from English for ESL students
  • Brainstorming ideas
    • Using the correct prompt is very important here.  Asking ChatGPT to "brainstorm ideas for a paper on robots for for people who aren't familiar with the topic" produces very different results than "Make a list of ideas to write a paper about robots"
  • Proofreading a paper for a student.
    • Ask ChatGPT to proofread text pasted into the prompt.  See example below:

Things to consider:

  • Generative AI only knows the information it has been trained on. For example, ChatGPT's disclaimer states "Limited knowledge of the world and events after 2021."
    • Due to these limitations it may not do well at searching for information.
  • It makes mistakes. (ex. six fingered hands in AI generated images)
  • It can be good at synthesizing information.
  • It can 'hallucinate' and make information up. (Wikipedia)
  • It's NOT a search engine (as of June 2023.)

Ideas for incorporating AI into the classroom

Further Reading