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Artificial Intelligence

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems with learning algorithms.

AI accesses and processes large quantities of open access databases and openly available information on the internet to produce human-like responses, present knowledge, make predictions, and perform complex tasks like image processing and image creation. Exploring and developing AI capabilities is active and ongoing in many fields and more and more systems incorporate AI capabilities. The number of AI tools has increased significantly.

Available AI tools, like ChatGPT, are trained on only freely accessible datasets. They do not have access to the wide range of paid for academic databases and journals, which students can access via the University Library. It is therefore vital to be aware of the limitations AI system have and to be knowledgeable on how to use AI.

The University is committed to supporting you in developing the awareness and skills needed to use AI effectively and ethically in your academic work.

The University supports the appropriate use of AI tools. These tools can enhance your learning, enabling you to explore new ideas and concepts and undertake effective research. AI tools can help you with -

Break down a task (like researching for and writing an assignment) into shorter multiple steps for you and when given a deadline, can suggest time scales for completing each step.

Give you explanations, it can simplify a topic or subject you are struggling with, to help you better understand it.

Give you feedback on text you give it. It can also help improve your grammar and writing structure – especially useful if English is not your first language.

Help you overcome writer’s block, offer inspiration for your creative work, or help you explore ideas for dissertation topics.

However, AI tools are only as good as the information it has access to and the questions you ask.  You need to thinking critically about the results you want, evaluate the results you get and try different approaches to get better results.  The CREATE Framework can help you think about and create good AI prompts -

Clarity Clearly define the task or intent of the prompt, including specific information about the output. 
Relevant Provide relevant details, including specific keywords and facts, the tone, audience, format and structure. 
Examples Use examples in the prompt to provide context and direction for the output. 
Avoid ambiguity Focus on the key information and delete unnecessary details in the prompt. 
Tinker Test and refine the prompt through multiple iterations. Explore different input versions to discover the best results. 
Evaluate Continuously evaluate the output and adjust the prompt as needed to improve the quality.

CREATE Framework for High Quality Prompt Craft in AI Tools (Tom, 2023)

Can I use AI in my assignment?
The University’s Academic Misconduct Policy defines plagiarism as –

...where a student presents work for assessment which contains the unacknowledged published or unpublished words, thoughts, judgements, ideas, structures or images of another person or persons. This includes material downloaded from digital sources and material obtained from third parties including online essay mills and AI applications...

If you use AI tools for any part of your assessment - planning, research or content - you must - 

  • reference the AI tool used and the content obtained; and
  • apply quotation conventions where the text has not been altered; and
  • clearly identify paraphrased or summarised material; and
  • outline the method and information gathered via the AI tool; and
  • explain how the AI content has been reused within the assessment.

In such cases, you will have acted with integrity and academic misconduct will not have been committed.  Although, it is important to acknowledge that grades are determined by evidence of meeting learning objectives, not on repetition of AI generated content.

For information about how to reference, including AI tools, see the Referencing tab on this page or Harvard Referencing.

Academic Integrity describes the values required to study in the UK, including -

Trust – preparing work that is honest, thoughtful and genuine.
Honesty – being truthful about which ideas are your own and which come from others, and about the methods and results of your research.
Fairness – not trying to gain an advantage by unfair means: for instance, by passing off others’ work as your own.
Responsibility – taking an active role in your own learning: for instance, by seeking out the information you need to study effectively.
Respect – for your fellow students, staff, and the work of scholars.
Courage – taking a stand to address a wrongdoing and defending integrity.

For more information about Academic Integrity see - International Center for Academic Integrity: Fundamental Values.  Or learn more and test your knowledge and understanding of Academic Integrity see - Academic Integrity Toolkit.

Academic Misconduct means a successful or unsuccessful attempt to achieve an unpermitted or unfair advantage over other candidates in an assessment or the deciding of results for themselves or others. It includes formal and informal situations.

For more information about Academic Misconduct and how the University addresses Academic Misconduct see - Academic Misconduct Regulations.

ChatGPT is the most commonly discussed and used AI tool. GPT stands for ‘Generative Pre-trained Transformer’.  ‘Generative’ means that it uses large amounts of freely available text (such as all of Wikipedia) or images (such as the entire online catalogue of Tate) to create a new work that’s similar - ’in the style of’ - but different, based on the prompts it is given. 

ChatGPT is not the only AI tool - Google have recently released Claude.  Futurepedia is the largest online listing of AI tools, with over 3,500 rated by humans (June 2023). You can filter to show just the free AI tools.  Some you may want to explore include -

  • ChatGTP4
  • Genially (presentations)
  • Interior AI (interior design)
  • Looka (logo design)
  • Perplexity (search)
  • You (search)

AI is a changing landscape so beware some free apps will move to paid-for models, and some will disappear without warning.

Example: MidJourney (2023) Prompt: fashion concept collection inspired
by Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ painting’. [AI generated image]

Generative image AI works in a similar way but whilst it uses language to analyse and follow the prompts it’s given, it’s also been trained on large numbers of images on the internet. These are some examples of AI image generators which use natural language descriptions or "prompts" -

These AI tools provide a fast way to visualise ideas and potential creative outcomes but it is important to acknowledge that they may pose problems with copyright as the images they create may plagiarise existing copyrighted works gathered from the Internet.

Looking to Protect Your Artwork Online?
While not foolproof, Glaze offers a way to protect your own work being used by AI tools.

Glaze generates a cloaked version for each image you want to protect. During this process, none of your artwork will ever leave your own computer. Then, instead of posting the original artwork online, you could post the cloaked artwork to protect your style from AI art generators.

Warning!  Beware... 
When using AI tools, it is important to note that - 

  • AI makes things up by guessing – the results it produces might not be true or valid.
  • AI accesses only freely available content on the Internet, so it will not have access to the wide range of paid for academic databases and journals that you can access via the University Library.
  • AI may have limitations, for example, the free version of ChatGPT relies on information gathered before 2021, so it’s not up to date.
  • AI does not always offer citations or references for their information sources, so you can’t verify it; where references are offered these must be checked.
  • AI is trained on texts produced by humans, from the Internet. It can replicate the same biases, in terms of race, gender, religion, sexuality, and socio-economic factors in its outputs.
  • AI prompts can be shared with others, so do not share personal data or sensitive information about yourself or others.
  • Copyright ownership of AI outputs is unclear and inputting in-copyright material into an AI platform could be considered an infringement of copyright law.
  • AI can be used ethically and beneficially, or unethically and with a negative impact. If you become too reliant on AI, you are not developing the competencies such as writing skills, deep learning, critical thinking and evaluation.
  • AI has the potential, if misused, to take away your personality, style and unique creativity from your work.

Referencing Artificial Intelligence
If you have used or referred to information created by an artificial intelligence (AI) tool in your work, you must acknowledge this as a source in your work.  The acknowledgement will consist of a citation and a corresponding entry in your Bibliography, and in the case of images, an image caption and a corresponding entry in your List of Illustrations.

There are currently no specific standards for referencing AI, this advice could be subject to change.

To reference AI in your work use templates that exist in UCA Harvard:

  • Personal Communications (email and interviews) – if you are using AI as a text source.
  • Websites and Social Media – if you are referencing a specific tool or piece of AI software.
  • Images obtained online – if you have an AI-created image which is recoverable and has a url.
  • Unpublished Images (created by yourself) – if you have created an image which cannot be linked to or recovered.

Personal Communications (email and interviews)
If the AI text is only available to you, for example via chat such as ChatGPT, then cite this as Personal Communications (email and interviews) as per the examples in the UCA Harvard Guide.  

Note - currently content produced by AI chat cannot be recovered or linked to, so you will be unable to provide a url. Instead of providing a url, you should provide a full transcript of prompts and responses from your conversation in the appendix.

Citation example:
When asked who the most influential architects of all time were, Open AI (2023) suggested that many architects have left their mark, out of the seven that were listed only one, Zaha Hadid, was female.

Bibliography example:
     Open AI (2023) AI conversation with Badger, I. 20/03/2023.

Websites and social media
If you need to reference the AI tool, and not the content that it has produced, then follow the format for Websites and social media.

For example:
     Open AI (2023) ChatGPT. At: (Accessed 28/04/2023).

Images obtained online
If the image is recoverable and has a url which can be shared, then follow the format for Images obtained online.

For example:
     Fig. 1 Hotpot (2023) Knight in Library. [AI generated image] At: art- generator/8-qCbi0aGbCwDHvnh (Accessed 28/04/2023).

Unpublished Images (created by yourself)
     If the image cannot be recovered and does not have a url, then follow the format for Unpublished Images (Created by yourself)..

For example:
     Fig. 2 UpScaler (2023) Knight eating a banana. [AI generated image] In possession of: the author: Canterbury.

For more information on using AI in your academic study and creative practice -

Liaison Librarians can help you with -

  • searching and finding information
  • evaluating information
  • referencing and academic integrity

Learning Development Tutors can help you with - 

  • academic reading and writing
  • communication and presentation
  • reflection and critical thinking

For more information about AI -

LinkedIn Learning – all UCA students and staff have free access to LinkedIn Learning using your Single Sign-on, and there are a range of short courses there on AI including how to write prompts. 

The Alan Turing Institute for those students that want to take a deeper dive into AI, the Alan Turing Institute (the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence) is carrying out research into AI, robotics and the safe and ethical use of AI.