Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the ability of computer software to perform advanced reasoning and problem-solving tasks. Generative AI refers to software tools that can create new content such as text, images, audio, and video.
AI technologies have been around for some time, often operating in the background of many online and smartphone applications. However, the 2022 release of the generative AI tool ChatGPT brought attention to the capabilities of these tools for generating a large amount of high-quality content. ChatGPT is a type of large language model that produces responses by predicting the next word in a sequence on the basis of large amounts of data that it has been "trained" on. This means that its output is based on prediction rather than truth.
To generate content using ChatGPT or another generative AI application, you need to write a prompt. Sometimes a generative AI application will not give you the content you want, but you can practice writing prompts and follow-up requests that will help you use a tool more effectively.
If used wisely, text-generating tools like ChatGPT can complement the research process. These tools can be good at:
Text-generating AI tools like ChatGPT have limitations for research. Be aware that these tools may:
To address these limitations, you can use some of the following strategies:
Also, while generative AI tools can be good at producing generic or formulaic writing (e.g., an email or press release template), they are not good conveying authenticity or uniqueness in writing. Sharing your own original ideas using your own distinctive voice is essential for good writing. If you use generative AI tools in your writing, use them as writing aids rather than substitutes.
Finally, always check with your professors to determine whether you can use ChatGPT or similar tools for assistance in completing your research assignments.