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AI: What is AI?

An overview of artificial intelligence tools and processes as they relate to research and learning

What is AI?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in wide variety of contexts, but for academic writing, AI tools are currently mostly used to generate text based on prompts given by people, using the data available to them. As more information is available, the AI 'learns' and improves its ability to predict what will be a meaningful response.

AI tools such as ChatGPT are known as large language models, and use large data sets to produce increasingly sophisticated text answers to questions asked. Other AI tools can be used to generate music, images and video following the same principles. There is some debate at present about the ethics of this, given that the data used is potentially somebody else's intellectual property. Some online and print publishers refuse to use anything produced by an AI tool because of the ethical and legal problems involved.

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