What is Generative AI?

  • What is AI?Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all around us. You may not even realize how frequently you interact with AI in your daily life at home and work. AI is interacting with you when you watch Netflix, chat with support on a website, ask Alexia to stream a song or recommend a new recipe. Most AI tools that you might hear about or use are forms of Machine Learning. Machine Learning describes the ability for machines to adapt and develop their own algorithms to solve complex problems.  Deep Learning is the next step in Machine Learning, where computers are trained to process information in ways that are similar to the human brain.

    Generative AI is the latest advancement that is in the worldwide spotlight, after the free release of ChatGPT from OpenAI. Generative AI tools like ChatGPT allow people to use natural language to interact with a computer. The computer is able to respond in ways that might look and feel a lot like how a human might respond. Generative AI is able to use the large data set it has "consumed" as a basis of information to create or generate new content, such as images, music, or text. This new advancement is what makes this technology so special, so powerful and so attractive to us as humans.

    Generative AI tools are examples of Deep Learning. ChatGPT is widely considered the most well known and recognized of these resources, but many others exist and many new tools using generative AI are being launched every day. Other well known generative AI tools include OpenAI’s DALL-E, Google’s Bard, Claude AI, and Microsoft’s Copilot.

What Can AI Do?

  • Artificial Intelligence is the ability for computers to do things that mimic human abilities. Generative AI is a subset of AI that teaches computers how to analyze data to produce original responses. ChatGPT and other natural language interfaces are a subset of Generative AI, and they focus on teaching computers how to respond to questions and prompts in a human-like way. To generate these responses, the computers are trained on vast amounts of data. The computer draws from that data to generate responses to questions and engage in human-like conversations.

    Generative AI tools can be incredibly powerful in many ways. It can be used to summarize articles, draft creative papers or essays, write stories, create lesson plans, develop and troubleshoot computer code, provide feedback on writing, create images and original artwork, and compose music. It is important to have awareness of the capabilities of current generative AI resources and to have an understanding of their abilities. As with any technology, it's just as important to set clear guidelines and expectations for the use of these tools, especially as it pertains to usage in the classroom by both students and staff.

    Please refer to the Technology Use Guidelines for our expectations and guidelines for technology use.