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Artificial Intelligence (AI): Introduction

How to cite or acknowledge generative AI tools, like ChatGPT, in your assignments and publications.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and AI-assisted technologies are relatively new but are developing quickly. With the release of ChatGPT in November 2022, the capabilities of generative AI to create fluent text was introduced to the public in general. ChatGPT's capabilities were upgraded in March 2023 with the introduction of ChatGPT-4. ChatGPT has also been incorporated into Microsoft's Bing search engine.

Even before the introduction of ChatGPT, generative AI was having an impact on scholarly communication and publishing as author-researchers have begun using these tools to help write papers or consolidate prior knowledge, to generate customized images, or for other purposes.

Because this is such a rapidly developing field, this guide is subject to change and should be considered preliminary.

AI and Transparency

There is a growing concern within academic and scholarly publishing circles about the use of generative AI. Just as with the use of copy-paste or other technologies, generative AI is neither inherently good nor bad, but it introduces ethical issues into the writing process. This means that greater transparency is needed when authors use AI tools.

There are currently (March 2023) no generally accepted standards for transparency in the use of AI. That said, there are certain practices that are recommended by most. These include always acknowledging that some form of AI was used in preparing your work and how that AI was used, even if you don't actually include any AI-generated content. This acknowledgment should include a description of the AI tool used, the prompts you used, and the date you accessed the AI tool. While some authors have credited AI tools as co-authors on their papers, this type of attribution is generally frowned on.

Citing ChatGPT or Other AI Sources

All references should provide clear and accurate information for each source and should identify where they have been used in your work. However, content generated by AI is nonrecoverable; it cannot be retrieved later or linked to, so it cannot be cited in the same way as a book or journal article.

Currently (March 2023) there are no specific guidelines for citing AI generated content. Many sources recommend citing this content using the reference style for personal communication or correspondence, while others recommend the style for computer software.

We recommend asking your professor or publisher for specific guidance.

Risks with Using Information from ChatGPT

Information obtained from ChatGPT or other generative AI tools should not be considered a primary source and should be used in conjunction with other sources. Although these tools consolidate web-based content, they are unable to access content locked behind paywalls. This includes the vast majority of scholarly journals and books. This means that AI-generated content relies heavily on free content like blogs and websites that can be highly biased or of questionable accuracy or credibility.

Additionally, since AI models can sometimes produce incorrect or biased information, it's crucial to verify information obtained from ChatGPT with other sources before including it in your work. For example, we have found that ChatGPT routinely creates fake citations that look like real citations but do not reference actual works when asked to write a paper with citations.

Attribution: This section is adapted from the University of Queensland Library's guide "AI, ChatGPT, and the Library" (accessed Mar 2023) thanks to a Creative Commons license.

Illinois Tech's Policy on the Use of AI

At this time (March 2023), Illinois Tech does not have any specific policies regarding the use of AI. However, presenting content generated by AI tools as one's own work is a clear violation of Illinois Tech's Code of Academic Honesty.

Students are advised to ask their professors if the use of AI tools is allowed for specific classes.

Publisher Policies on the Use of AI

Researchers interested in publishing their work should consult with their publisher regarding the use of generative AI tools. As publishers release specific policies, we will endeavor to list them here.

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