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Finding Information: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools

You've probably heard a lot about Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Bing AI. But what actually are they? How do they obtain information? Can you really use them for your study?

Here is an answer from ChatGPT

I am ChatGPT, an AI language model designed by OpenAI. While I can be a helpful resource for undergraduate-level study, it's important to note that my responses should be verified for accuracy. I can provide information, explanations, and assistance with assignments, but I cannot replace the depth of knowledge gained through a comprehensive education. It's recommended to consult with professors or academic advisors to determine the appropriateness of using an AI model like me in your studies.

AI tools are a new and constantly evolving technology. And, as with all search tools, they have both advantages and disadvantages. This section will give you some more information about how these work and how they might ethically be used in study. 

For more information about plagiarism and academic integrity, consult our guide here. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools

Advantages and Disadvantages of AI

Artificial Intelligence Tools and language models like ChatGPT have both advantages and disadvantages.

Click the drop-downs below to learn more:

When should you use AI Tools?

AI tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard can be really useful when used with caution; remember that their output will only ever be as good as the information they were trained on. For example, did you know that ChatGPT was trained on a dataset from September 2021? As such, it can't provide real-time information or present an up-to-date argument. 

When using AI tools, it is recommended that you follow the guidelines outlined below: 

  1. Understand the purpose: AI tools and language models should be used as a learning aid rather than a substitute for your own work. They can help generate ideas, provide examples, or assist with understanding complex topics. Always remember that your own critical thinking and originality are crucial.

  2. Use as a starting point: Treat the output from an AI tool or language model as a starting point for your own work. Use the generated content to understand concepts or gather information, but then develop your ideas independently. This way, you build on the model's output while adding your unique perspective.

  3. Avoid copy-pasting: Do not copy and paste the generated text directly into your work.  University assignments are expected to be original and written by the student; using AI tools to write an assignment would be considered plagiarism.

  4. Corroborate and cross-reference: It is advisable to review information obtained from an AI tool to ensure accuracy and reliability. Can you corroborate the information using another source? 

  5. Seek guidance: If you're unsure about the ethical use of language models, consult your course team. They can provide specific instructions and clarify any concerns you may have.

Remember, the responsibility lies with you to use AI tools and language models ethically and to avoid plagiarism. By following these guidelines, you can leverage these tools effectively while maintaining academic integrity.

For more information about plagiarism and academic integrity, consult our guide here. 

Making the Most of AI

To make the most of an AI tool like Chat GPT or Google Bard, it is recommended that you follow the guidelines below: 

  1. Be clear and specific: Clearly articulate your question or request to help the tool understand your needs accurately. The more specific you are, the better it will be able to help you. 

  2. Ask follow-up questions: If you need more information or clarification on a particular topic, don't hesitate to ask follow-up questions. 

  3. Experiment and iterate: Feel free to experiment with different phrasings or approaches to your questions. Sometimes rephrasing or providing additional context can yield better results.

  4. Provide context: Providing relevant background information helps the tool to better understand your query and provide more accurate and tailored responses.

  5. Verify information independently: It's always good practice to independently verify critical information from reliable sources.

Remember, while AI tools and language models can provide information and suggestions, critical thinking and human judgment are still essential in evaluating and making decisions based on the information provided.