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Generative AI: What to Know

What to Know

Generative Artificial Intelligence

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What is artificial intelligence?


Image by <a href="">Gerd Altmann</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Artificial intelligence--machines, usually computers, that can complete tasks that require human intelligence—provide a reasoned respond to a textual prompt, translate material from one language to another, create images and videos and the like.


AI Tools You May Be Using

  • Microsoft Word Spell-Checker
  • Microsoft Word Grammar-Checker
  • Grammarly
  • Gmail autocomplete
  • Google Translate
  • Audio to text transcribers
  • Virtual assistants (Siri, Alexa)
  • Personalized content recommendations on streaming platforms
  • Travel navigation apps
  • Retail site chatbots

Types of Generative AI

Chatbots --computer programs that can provide quick, human-like responses to prompts entered in a dialog box. 

Rule defined chatbots-- only provide scripted, predefined responds  using a limited data set.

Conversational AI chatbots (e.g.: ChatGPT) --large language model chatbots that have been trained with a significant body of data and use algorithms and probability to generate an unscripted response to a textual prompt.

Text-to Image AI--takes textual input and generates an image (e.g.: DALL-E)

Analytical AI-- uses machine learning to analyze data, derive insights, and make suggestions.

Visual AI--processes and understands images or videos, performing tasks such as object recognition, face detection, and image classification; used in self-driving cars and securiry systems.

AI Generated Images

Image generated by Midjourney

Image generated by Midjourney


Dall-e generated image

Image generated by Dall-e

What is ChatGPT

There's been a lot of talk about ChatGPT. So what it is?
A chatbot developed by OpenAI
GPT=Generative Pre-trained Transformer
Draws on a massive dataset of text uploaded from the Internet prior to 2021
Publicly accessible since November 2022
Uses a large language model—probability to generate the most logical sequence of words in response to a query
Is not connected to the Internet
Provides articulate responses across many subjects
Can adjust level of language used in a response as directed
Subscription required for ChatGPT4

AI Detection Tools

A number of AI detection tools have been developed but no AI detection tool is perfect.  Detection tools should not be used as the sole criterion for determining if text is AI generated.

Aboout AI Detection Tools:

AI Detection Tools

Kettering College Statement on the Use of AI

As new technologies emerge, academic institutions must determine their role in the academic experience and their potential applications in the professional setting.

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools (like ChatGPT) offer both the potential to help students in their academic and professional endeavors and to deprive students of a full academic experience by having AI do their work for them. Students must therefore approach their academic work with honesty and integrity and seek guidance from their instructors regarding the use of such tools (OpenAI, 2023).

Use of AI in college courses where appropriate is encouraged but is at the department or program’s discretion. If undefined by the department or program, then it is at the instructor's discretion. Faculty need the flexibility to design their courses to meet the learning outcomes of a course while also suiting their teaching style. Instructors should provide guidelines or expectations regarding the use of AI in their courses and students should respect the boundaries set by their instructors, using AI tools responsibly, so they can benefit from the many advantages AI can offer in their education (Open AI, 2023). 

Additionally, whenever AI generated content is incorporated into one’s work, it must be properly documented using an appropriate documentation style, just as any other content must be.



OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (May 15 version) [Large language model].

Limitations of Generative AI Tools

Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

While the text generated by ChatGPT and similar tools sounds highly articulate, it is important to be aware that these tools have certain limitations and issues:

  • Output can be biased    
  • Lack of transparency (black box)
  • Can provide incorrect responses
  • Potential to "hallucinate” (make up information)
  • Even tools that connect to the Internet do not have access to full-text resources behind a paywall
  • Quality of output is dependent on quality of input (Garbage in/garbage out)
  • The exact same prompt can generate different responses
  • These tools do not have the ability to think or feel…they generate text or images based on the prompt, the data available, and probability
  • Many scholarly publications are prohibiting the use of chatbots to generate text in articles submitted for publication

Ethical Issues

ai ethics by Symbolon from Noun Project (CC BY 3.0)

  • Output can be racist or discriminatory
  • Potential for "deep fakes"  and deception   
  • Academic integrity—it is academically dishonest to submit work completed by AI as one’s own and is subject to the same penalties as other forms of academic dishonest.  Check with your instructor regarding use of AI tools in their course.
  • Privacy – personal information should never be submitted to a chatbot; use of personal information is not transparent
  • Copyright issues
    • Numerous individuals are sueing OpenAI for copyright infringement after their copyrighted material was included in the data load for ChatGPT
    • Recent  federal court ruling determined that fully AI generated content cannot not be protected by copyright
    • Inputting others work into a Chatbot may be copyright infringement.      
  • Potential for additional learning divide—ability of students to pay to use these tools as they become pay to play       
  • Lack of regulation

Prompt Ideas

Generative AI tools generate content in response to written and image prompts. To get the best output, it is important to create a well crafted prompt. Remember: Garbage in, garbage out! Try some of these resources for prompt ideas:

Appropriate Academic Uses

While generative AI should never be used as a substitute for doing course work, it can be a helpful learning assistant.

Some appropriate uses include:

  • explaining complex concepts in more simple language 
  • identifying key concepts, issues, and terminology for a topic
  • evaluating your prompts and ideas
  • generating quizzes, flash cards, etc. as study aides and exam preps 
  • summarizing and outlining (inlcuding your class notes)
  • generating study guides
  • generating case studies or scenarios to consider ethical or professional issues
  • generating pneumonics or catchy lyrics to help retain key concepts
  • brainstorming ideas for a research topic
  • providing feedback on a paper
  • identifying keywords to use to research a topic
  • translating from one language to another 

Remember though that generative AI tools are not infallible...they do make mistakes!  So double check what it generates...that can also provide a useful learning experience.

Resources for Educators

Reference Librarian

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Kathy Salgado
Kettering College Library
3737 Southern Blvd.
Kettering, OH 45429
937.395.8053 x6