Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad term covering computer systems that are capable of performing tasks that usually require human intelligence. There are lots of common, everyday examples of artificial intelligence, such as predictive text, Siri, Alexa, and some customer service chatbots. These are tools that are capable of performing simple tasks such as checking weather reports, directing and processing customer queries, or guessing the next word that you are likely to type in a sequence.
Generative AI are artificial intelligence tools that create content (text, images, audio, computer code, even video) based on a prompt given by the user. These tools are trained on existing data to recognise patterns in words, sentences, and images and provide responses to prompts based on the most likely word or visual element in a given context. Recent interest and use of generative AI has increased due to the introduction of tools such as ChatGPT and DALL-E.
Examples of generative AI include:
It is important to be mindful of the limitations and ethical concerns of generative AI tools. Click through the tabs below to learn more about these:
All students at Melbourne Polytechnic are expected to behave with academic integrity: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. As part of this, it is important to check that generative AI can be used in your subject and for your assignment, and to properly reference it's use.
The unauthorised use of generative AI tools in your coursework may be considered a breach of academic integrity. Getting a generative AI tool to create or re-write your assignment for you and then submitting that work as your own is considered cheating, just as getting another human to create your assignment for you is.
Firefly. (2023). Colourful illustration of university student in classic superhero comics style [AI generated image]. Adobe. Created on January 9, 2024.
Generative AI is not able to distinguish between fact and fiction, and it provides outputs that look and sound plausible but may not be true and accurate. It is important to verify information provided by these tools using trustworthy external resources.
Generative AI tools:
Firefly. (2023). Colourful illustration of accuracy and weight and measurements [AI generated image]. Adobe. Created on January 9, 2024.
See the following sources for more information and examples:
Keary, T. (2024). AI Hallucination. In Techopedia.
Milmo, D. (2023, June 23). Two US lawyers fined for submitting fake court citations from ChatGPT. The Guardian.
Many generative AI tools remain free to access and use, but some are beginning to apply costs to their users. This limits the ability of everyone to access and use the same tools and all of their features, which may now hidden behind paywalls or other barriers.
For example,OpenAI introduced ChatGPT Plus, a subscription plan for ChatGPT that provides exclusive access to many of its updated features.
Firefly. (2023). Colourful illustration of access to knowledge and ideas [AI generated image]. Adobe. Created on January 9, 2024.
See the following for more information:
Nolan, B. (2024, January 3). OpenAI has reopened sign-ups for ChatGPT Plus. Here’s what you get if you pay a monthly fee for ChatGPT. Business Insider.
Generative AI can created content that reflects:
Be critical and mindful of generative AI outputs as they can reflect existing prejudice in the world.
Firefly. (2023). Colourful illustration of bias and prejudice and stereotypes [AI generated image]. Adobe. Created on January 9, 2024.
See the following for more information:
Nicoletti, L., & Bass, D. (2023). Humans are biased. Generative ai is even worse. Bloomberg.
As generative AI is an evolving field, understanding of how copyright and other licenses apply to its outputs will change.
It is not always clear where the data the AI tool was trained on originated from. AI outputs can include content that is under copyright or plagiarised.
It is important that MP staff and students do not upload any content to AI tools that is copyrighted to MP
Firefly. (2023). Colourful illustration of copyright infringement and legality and ownership [AI generated image]. Adobe. Created on January 9, 2024.
For more information about the use of AI and intellectual property, see the following sources:
Appel, G., Neelbauer, J., & Schweidel, D. A. (2023, April 7). Generative ai has an intellectual property problem. Harvard Business Review.
Arts Law Centre of Australia 2022, Artificial intelligence (AI) and copyright: Information sheet, viewed 9 January 2023
Generative AI tools store information on any prompts or responses given.
Do not input any private or confidential information including:
These tools also store the information and data about their users which can be used to change the way the tool operates for you, or be sold to third parties. Be mindful of your own and others privacy, and any data or personal information you might be providing to these companies.
Firefly. (2023). Colourful illustration of privacy and personal data and information security [AI generated image]. Adobe. Created on January 9, 2024.
When using generative AI tools, consider the following:
Before you use a generative AI tool, it is important to think critically about whether you should.
Generative AI tools can create content that is inaccurate, biased, or out-of-date. It is important to critically evaluate generative AI outputs.
Generative AI can be useful for:
Brainstorming and starting your assignments/research
Creating study aids like quizzes or flashcards
Formulating study plans to help you manage your time
Helping you write search queries and prompts to use in the MP Library catalogue and databases
Summarising information quickly
Creating visual aids for presentations
To best use generative AI, think about the prompts you are providing:
Task-oriented and have an achievable goal (e.g. write me an enthusiastic and persuasive letter...)
Be specific (to the topic you want an output on, or how you want the content - in dot-points, etc.)
Provide a tone or visual language (give it a character or perspective to write from, provide a visual language or genre like Cubism)
Check out these LinkedIn Learning videos on generating effective prompts for AI tools for more help:
All articles about Artificial Intelligence in The Conversation
Open Universities Australia, How you should—And shouldn’t—Use ChatGPT as a student
TEQSA's Artificial Intelligence Hub