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Using Generative AI

About This Guide

NOTE: This guide focuses on students. Instructors who want to address AI in their teaching should refer to the Teaching in the Context of AI toolkit by the U of A’s Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools are evolving incredibly quickly, and they are having a significant impact on education and research. This guide provides information about using generative AI in ethical, creative, and evaluative ways. It focuses on five key areas:

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Types of generative AI Ethical & responsible use of AI  How to use AI tools Evaluating AI content How to cite AI


Artificial intelligence (AI): "Machines that imitate some features of human intelligence, such as perception, learning, reasoning, problem-solving, language interaction and creative work" (UNESCO).

Generative AI: Uses machine learning algorithms to produce or remix content, generating text, images, audio, video, or other formats.

Machine learning: "The ability of computers to identify patterns, learn from data, and make inferences or decisions, without having been explicitly programmed to do so" (National Research Council Canada).

Algorithm: "The set of instructions that defines not just what needs to be done but how to do it." (Techopedia)

Some text on this page was adapted from Using Generative AI by Deakin University Library, which is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

This guide is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, with the exception of the CLEAR Framework, which was used with permission of Leo S. Lo, and the "Evaluating AI Content" page, which was adapted with permission of the University of British Columbia Library.

All image sources are listed in this image credits document.