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Artificial Intelligence (AI)

An introduction to generative AI and its use in teaching, research, and publishing.

AI and Teaching

AI tools can be used to support different aspects of the teaching process, including:

  • Content Creation: AI can assist teachers in creating educational materials such as syllabi, presentations, lesson plans, and quizzes.
  • Assignment Design: AI can be used to brainstorm ideas for student assignments, research papers, and classroom discussions.
  • Content Recommendation: AI algorithms can recommend relevant readings and learning materials such as books, articles, and multimedia resources.
  • Accessibility and Language Support: AI can help overcome language barriers by translating content for students who speak different languages or transcribe spoken words into text, provide image descriptions, and support students with disabilities by making content more accessible.

AI Policy Statements

Rutgers' Academic Integrity Policy (10.2.13) states that students must ensure “that all work submitted in a course, academic research, or other activity is the student’s own and created without the aid of impermissible technologies, materials, or collaborations.” Whether use of a technology is permissible depends on the specific policies and learning objectives of the course.

Instructors should set clear guidelines about the permissability and appropriate use of A.I. in their courses. Below are some examples of possible statements instructors may want to include in their syllabus or Canvas site. For more detailed examples, see Teaching Critical AI Literacy, advice from the AI Roundtable Advisory Council.

Example 1: Use of AI strictly prohibited
Use of AI tools such as ChatGPT to complete course assignments is not permitted under any circumstances.

Example 2: Use of AI permitted under certain conditions
Use of AI tools such as ChatGPT is only permitted to help you brainstorm potential research topics, develop research questions, or find more information about a topic. All material you submit must be your own.

Example 3: Use of AI fully permitted
Use of AI tools such as ChatGPT is fully permitted provided that you include the exact prompt used to generate the content as well as the AI’s full response in an Appendix. Because AI generated content is not always accurate or appropriate, it is each student’s responsibility to assess the validity and applicability of any AI-generated content included in their work.

AI Detection Tools

While tools for detecting AI-generated content exist (Turnitin, GPTZero, Copyleaks), such tools are not 100% effective and have been found to exhibit several problems. For instance, AI detectors:

  • Can be prone to produce false positives or negatives
  • Offer no explanation or supporting evidence for their scores
  • Can easily be evaded through the manipulation of prompts or rewriting outputs
  • Tend to be biased against non-native English writers
  • Do not guarantee privacy of any data submitted

Instead of relying on AI detection tools, it is recommended that instructors:

  • Implement clear policies and guidelines governing the use of AI in the classroom
  • Teach students how to use AI ethically and effectively and critically evaluate outputs
  • Create scaffolded assignments that encourage intrinsic motivation and focus more on process than product
  • Develop rubrics that emphasize critical thinking, problem solving, and applied knowledge rather than the memorization and summarization of content

AI Literacy

AI literacy refers to the ability to understand, evaluate, and responsibly interact with artificial intelligence technologies. It involves not just using AI tools but also comprehending their underlying principles, ethical implications, and limitations. In today's digital age, where AI systems are becoming increasingly prevalent in various aspects of daily life, AI literacy is crucial for individuals to make informed decisions, critically assess AI-generated content, and prepare for the modern workforce.

AI literacy helps students:

  • Engage in critical thinking by questioning the accuracy, bias, and potential manipulation of AI-generated information
  • Recognize and address ethical dilemmas related to bias, misinformation, privacy, intellectual property, and accountability
  • Evaluate information sources and distinguish between human- and AI-generated content
  • Use AI tools effectively and responsibly, maximizing their benefits while minimizing risks
  • Adapt to new AI technologies as they continue to evolve and participate in discussions about their societal impact

Below are some assignments instructors can use to teach students AI literacy skills. For more examples, see Resources for Instructors.

Sample Assignments

AI-Generated Paper Review
Provide students with a research paper that was partially or fully generated by AI. Ask them to critically review the paper, evaluating the clarity of the research question, methodology, data analysis, and conclusions. Have them identify any biases, inaccuracies, or inconsistencies in the paper. This exercise encourages students to compare AI-generated work with traditionally authored research and consider the reliability of AI-generated content in academia.

AI-Generated Art Critique
Provide students with a selection of artworks, stories, poems, or music pieces that were created by AI. Ask them to analyze and compare these AI-generated creations with human-generated ones. Have students consider the emotional impact, originality, and cultural significance of both sets of creations. Encourage discussions on whether AI can truly replicate human creativity and the implications of AI-generated art for the creative industries.

AI Content Creation
Allow students to work in groups or individually to create their own AI-generated content, such as a research paper, short story, or art work using AI tools. However, instruct them to maintain a critical perspective throughout the process. After creating the content, have students present their work and engage in a discussion about the challenges, benefits, and limitations of using AI in the research or creative process.

Comparative Literature Review
Assign students to write a literature review on a specific topic using both AI-generated content and human-authored content. Ask them to analyze the quality, depth, and relevance of information provided by both sources. Have students reflect on potential challenges in using AI-generated sources for academic research, such as source credibility and the need for human contextual understanding.

AI-Generated Hypothesis Exploration Provide students with AI-generated hypotheses related to a specific field of study. Ask them to critically assess the plausibility, testability, and originality of the hypotheses. Encourage students to reflect on the role of creativity and domain expertise in forming research hypotheses.

AI-Generated Abstract Analysis
Provide students with AI-generated abstracts of research papers. Ask them to assess whether the abstracts accurately summarize the main points of the papers and whether they provide a clear understanding of the research. Students can discuss the role of abstracts in academic writing and the limitations of AI in capturing nuanced content.

News Media Content Analysis
Provide students with a news article that has been generated by AI. Have students find at least two human-written news articles on the same topic from reputable sources. Instruct them to compare the AI-generated article's claims with the claims made in the human-written articles. Encourage students to analyze differences in language, tone, accuracy, and depth of reporting between AI-generated and human-written content.

Social Media Content Analysis
Give students examples of AI-generated social media posts, comments, or messages. Ask them to analyze the language, style, and relevance of the content. Have students discuss the potential consequences of AI-generated social media interactions, such as the spread of misinformation, influence on public opinion, and the erosion of authentic online communication.

Debunking AI Myths
Provide students with common misconceptions or exaggerated claims about AI-generated content. Have them research and present evidence-based responses that debunk these myths, helping them differentiate between what AI can and cannot do accurately.

Ethics of AI Content Generation
Present students with scenarios where AI-generated content could have ethical implications, such as deepfake videos, automated customer service chatbots, or personalized advertising based on user data. Ask students to identify potential ethical concerns and consider the social, legal, and cultural implications of using such AI-generated content. Encourage them to propose guidelines or regulations to address these concerns.

Future of Work and AI
Assign students to research and write a report on how AI-generated content is impacting various industries and professions, such as journalism, advertising, entertainment, and more. They should analyze the potential changes in job roles, skill requirements, and the overall landscape of work as AI continues to advance in content generation.

Resources for Instructors


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