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Using Artificial Intelligence

This guide is a starting point for creating pages about AI for students, staff, faculty, etc.


What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is a language model developed by OpenAI that uses machine learning algorithms to generate human-like text in response to a given prompt or question. It's trained on vast amounts of data from the internet and books, allowing it to mimic human language patterns and generate coherent text.

How does ChatGPT work?

ChatGPT works by using a deep neural network architecture called a transformer to analyze a given prompt or question and generate a response based on the patterns it has learned from its training data. It uses a process called autoregression, meaning it generates one word at a time based on the previous words in the sentence.

Limitations of ChatGPT

While ChatGPT has a number of uses, it's important to use ChatGPT ethically, as well as be aware of its limitations. The following highlights the primary limitations of ChatGPT:

  • ChatGPT can only generate text based on the data it has been trained on, which means it may not have answers to every question or be able to generate content on every topic. 
  • ChatGPT does not have the ability to fact-check or verify the accuracy of the information it generates, so it may generate false or misleading information.
  • ChatGPT is biased. It is trained on a large dataset of text from the internet and books, but this data is not comprehensive or unbiased. This can result in ChatGPT generating inaccurate or biased responses. For example, if the training data contains gender stereotypes, ChatGPT may produce sexist or discriminatory responses.
  • ChatGPT is not good for answering complex or nuanced questions that require critical thinking or human expertise. It is just replicating patterns, so it may not be able to understand complex topics or questions that require critical thinking. For example, ChatGPT may not be able to provide a nuanced analysis of a literary work or a complex scientific concept.
  • ChatGPT is NOT recommended for generating citations or bibliographies based on a topic. Because ChatGPT simply replicates patterns or phrases, it will often generate citations that appear real but are, in fact, fake.
  • ChatGPT cannot provide emotional intelligence or empathy. It cannot fully understand or respond to emotional or interpersonal nuances in communication, and its responses may be tone-deaf or inappropriate in certain situations.

A decorative image with the quote "Mimicking the output of good scholarly work is no the same as achieving it"


ChatGPT is not a replacement for human interaction or expertise. While ChatGPT can be a useful tool to assist in research and learning, it cannot replace the act of learning or scholarly participation. It's important to recognize the limitations of ChatGPT and use it as a supplement to your own research and learning, rather than relying solely on its generated content. This is true for other AI tools, as well. Mimicking the output of good scholarly work is not the same as achieving it.

For more information on how to use ChatGPT to supplement your learning, please see:

Remember, ChatGPT doesn't know the truth and often generates false or misleading information. It is important that any use of ChatGPT is done critically and that users always double check the information it generates.


ChatGPT was used to brainstorm and generate ideas for this very guide!