Image ‘people sitting down near table with assorted laptop computers photo’ by Marvin Meyer, via Unsplash, free to use under the Unsplash licence.
You certainly have seen the new addition to your Snapchat friends list: My AI.
You have likely seen news articles or heard podcasts mentioning AI.
And there is a very possible chance you have even played around with AI applications such as ChatGPT by now.
As we continue moving through the digital age, artificial intelligence – or more commonly known as AI – has begun to enter all facets of life, education, work, and culture.
A simple Google search defines artificial intelligence as ‘the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence’ (Google), however these advanced systems hold so so much more power, and it’s not all bad!
The AI – specifically ChatGPT – uses human-like language to generate a response to a task given by a user. If you were type “write a 50 word creative piece on fairy tales” into the program, it would immediately spit one out! If you were to type “summarise the importance of safety in construction”, it would come out with a substantial response.
This tool is incredibly helpful, but should certainly be used with caution!
Image ‘A close up of a computer screen with a blurry background photo’ by Jonathan Kemper, via Unsplash, free to use under the Unsplash licence.
The Gordon welcomes both students and staff to freely use AI systems such as ChatGPT to assist in your studies and work, but it is important to recognise that these tools are simply what they are and should not be used to replace your own analysis.
Using AI can be incredibly beneficial to find the starting point for an assignment; an approach, or advice pointing you in the right direction to find scholarly sources. However, everything the AI generates may not be factual, and copying the search results as they are may get you into plagiarism and cheating allegations.
So, it is ever-important now to brush up on your information evaluation skills and use AI to assist with your studies, not completely do it! Here are three tips and tricks – guidelines if you will – to consider when using ChatGPT or any AI software within your assignments or research:
1. The AI should be only used to assist in your research, not replace it.
Let the tool be a starting point for your research before you move on to other, more reliable sources. Don’t let it be the be-all-and-end-all of your research.
2. Recognise that the AI is not a credible source, and should not be directly referenced.
There would be very exceptional circumstances where you may be able to use AI in your assignments, and so referencing the AI would not assist in the credibility of your work. If you intend to explicitly use AI in a specific element of an assignment, and your teacher has given you permission to do so, you will need to provide a statement of acknowledgement on where and how you used the tool, and provide an in-text citation where appropriate. For referencing, see The Library’s guide.
3. Your final assignment should entirely be your own work.
Essentially, nothing that you submit should come from the AI. If you do include content directly from the source in an assignment that explicitly requires your own critical thinking and analysis, you could potentially breach academic integrity. There are limitations to what the AI can do – such as it only uses online content from the past three years in its results – and not everything it says may be correct. You should always work to find the correct sources for the information it is providing and critically engage with credible sources instead.
The AI is something to not fear; embrace it! Embrace the answers to your initial questions, endeavour to move past the tool and complete independent research, and embark on your assignments using your own work and words.
For more information, check out Deakin University’s guidelines on AI use and these resources:
Deakin Life (2 February 2023) What you need to know about ChatGPT and other AI tools, Deakin Life, accessed 03 May 2023.
Kemper J (5 February 2023) ‘A close up of a computer screen with a blurry background photo’ [image], Unsplash, accessed 03 May 2023. Free to use under the Unsplash licence.
Learning Support (n.d.) What is digital literacy?, The Gordon, accessed 03 May 2023.
Meyer M (23 February 2018) ‘people sitting down near table with assorted laptop computers photo’ [image], Unsplash, accessed 03 May 2023. Free to use under the Unsplash licence.
OpenAI (n.d.) ChatGPT, OpenAI, accessed 03 May 2023.
Oxford Languages (n.d.) “Artificial Intelligence”, Oxford Languages via Google, accessed 03 May 2023.
Snapchat Support (n.d.) What is My AI on Snapchat and how do I use it?, Snapchat, accessed 03 May 2023.
The Gordon Library (n.d.) Referencing, The Gordon Library, accessed 03 May 2023.
Words by Ashlee Simpson, Library Officer.
Back to library homepage.