With the emergence of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and OpenAI’s DALL-E many of you may be eager to explore their use within the university context. Generative AI is being rapidly adopted throughout our economy and society, including in educational settings, while developers and users are still discovering its capabilities, benefits, and challenges. It is important to be aware of how to use these new tools appropriately in your academic work. However, with the opportunities that AI provides, there also come responsibilities.
We encourage you to discuss with your professors for specific policies or expectations before engaging in the use of Generative AI resources on academic assignments, papers, tests, etc. Remember, the essence of academic work lies in original thought, critical analysis, and academic integrity. Using AI tools should assist or enhance, not replace, your original work. If you choose to use AI during the course of your academic studies, please be aware that AI can produce responses that are not always accurate and/or may violate intellectual property rights. They also may perpetuate biases inherent in their design and/or training datasets.
In efforts to help you understand how to use these tools, UCR has invested in several resources that can be used to bolster student research, learning, and academic projects:
- Academic Resource Center (ARC) https://arc.ucr.edu/
- Student Conduct & Academic Integrity Programs https://conduct.ucr.edu/
- Writing and Reading Support (WRS) https://arc.ucr.edu/writing
- UCR Library https://library.ucr.edu/
Here are a few tips to keep in mind should you choose to incorporate the use of AI in your coursework and research:
• Get familiar with generative AI before using: AI can assist with data analysis, generate ideas, or help structure your thoughts. However, you should not use it to generate essays, assignments, or other deliverables in their entirety. Your work should reflect your understanding, thoughts, and efforts. Follow the guidance of your professors for specific policies or expectations in the use of Generative AI resources for academic work.
• User accountability always cite appropriately: If you use AI-generated content or data as part of your research or assignments, ensure that you cite it properly. AI tools, like ChatGPT and Bard, may not provide you with the citations from where they are generating their responses, making it extremely difficult to verify the quality of the information in their responses. Follow the guidance of your professors for specific policies or expectations in the use of Generative AI resources for academic work.
• Cybersecurity & Privacy: AI tools, especially those connected to the internet, can be vulnerable to data breaches or misuse. Always ensure that the software or platform you're using is from a reputable source and has adequate security measures. Avoid sharing personal or sensitive information. The University has stringent data protection protocols in place to safeguard your academic work and personal data. However, individual responsibility plays a significant role in maintaining this safety net. Additionally, be wary of freely available online AI tools that may not have clearly stated privacy policies or may use your data for undisclosed purposes. Your privacy and security are of the utmost importance to us, and we encourage you to exercise caution and reach out to our UCR Information Technology Services if you have any concerns or need guidance regarding safe AI practices.
• Consequences of Plagiarism: Breaching academic integrity, which includes plagiarizing AI-generated content, will result in serious consequences. These may range from receiving a failing grade for the assignment to more severe academic penalties. Please familiarize yourself with UCR's Academic Integrity Policy for comprehensive details.
We wish to remind you that honesty and integrity are fundamental educational and community values that contribute to the success of students during and after their time at UCR. Please take note to develop a clear understanding of the University's policies and expectations regarding academic integrity, to represent yourself truthfully, to claim only work that is your own, and to engage honestly in all academic assignments. For more information and guidelines for using generative AI in instructional settings please reference Generative AI Guidelines.
We encourage you to approach the use of AI in your academic endeavors with integrity, curiosity, and responsibility. Our faculty, staff, and academic advisors are always here to guide you and answer any queries you may have regarding the appropriate use of AI.