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Generative AI and Research

A guide about generative AI

Statement From Dean of the Faculty Dr. Emily Chan

The faculty, students, and staff of Colorado College are perfectly situated to wrestle with the implications of generative AI. We are a place where learning, research, innovation, ethics, and dialogue intersect. The experts in our interdisciplinary community can lead conversations and projects that interrogate and explore both the foundations and future of AI. As an institution that strives to foster the ethical creation of knowledge, we can rise to this challenge without trepidation and without acquiescing to the inertia of educational technology. We can ask the hard questions as we explore. Colorado College is made for this challenge and opportunity.

What is Generative AI?

With the release of OpenAI's chatbot, ChatGPT in November 2022, numerous articles were written about the implications for higher education,  ChatGPT is just one of many tools that use generative AI.

"Generative AI can be defined as a technology that (i) leverages deep learning models to (ii) generate human-like content (e.g., images, words) in response to (iii) complex and varied prompts (e.g., languages, instructions, questions)".

Lim, W. M., Gunasekara, A., Pallant, J. L., Pallant, J. I., & Pechenkina, E. (2023). Generative AI and the future of education: Ragnarök or reformation? A paradoxical perspective from management educators. The International Journal of Management Education, 21(2), 100790.

"Generative artificial intelligence (AI) describes algorithms (such as ChatGPT) that can be used to create new content, including audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos. Recent breakthroughs in the field have the potential to drastically change the way we approach content creation".

What is ChatGPT, DALL-E, and generative AI? | McKinsey. (n.d.). Retrieved June 26, 2023, from

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence tool that uses a natural language model to generate responses to questions.  Here is how ChatGPT responded to the following questions posed to it on 6/23/2023:

"What is ChatGPT?":

"ChatGPT is an AI language model developed by OpenAI. It belongs to the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) family, specifically based on the GPT-3.5 architecture. GPT-3.5 refers to the version of the model that was current as of September 2021, which is my knowledge cutoff.

ChatGPT is designed to generate human-like responses in conversation, making it suitable for chat-based interactions. It has been trained on a vast amount of text data from the internet, allowing it to understand and generate coherent and contextually relevant responses to a wide range of queries.

The model utilizes a deep learning architecture known as a transformer, which is composed of multiple layers of self-attention mechanisms. These mechanisms enable the model to understand the relationships between different words and phrases in a sentence, capturing the context and producing more accurate and context-aware responses.

ChatGPT has a wide array of potential applications, including answering questions, providing explanations, generating creative content, offering suggestions, assisting with language translation, and more. It can be used in various domains, such as customer support, virtual assistants, education, and entertainment, to enhance user experiences and provide valuable assistance".


What can ChatGPT do?:

"ChatGPT can perform a variety of tasks and assist with different types of queries. Here are some examples of what ChatGPT can do:

  1. Answer Questions: ChatGPT can provide information and answers to a wide range of questions on various topics. Whether it's general knowledge, specific inquiries, or seeking explanations, ChatGPT attempts to generate relevant responses.

  2. Provide Explanations: You can ask ChatGPT to explain complex concepts, ideas, or processes. It can break down information into simpler terms and offer step-by-step explanations to help you understand better.

  3. Creative Writing: ChatGPT can assist in generating creative content, such as writing stories, poems, or even coming up with ideas for various creative projects. You can provide it with prompts, and it will generate a response based on the given input.

  4. Language Translation: ChatGPT can help with language translation by providing translations of words, phrases, or sentences between different languages. However, note that while it can offer translations, it may not be as accurate or reliable as dedicated translation tools.

  5. Drafting Text: Whether you need assistance in writing emails, articles, or other forms of written content, ChatGPT can help you draft and improve your writing. It can suggest sentence structures, provide synonyms, or offer alternative ways to express your ideas.

  6. Conversational Partner: ChatGPT can engage in casual conversations, offering opinions, engaging in discussions, and providing general conversation. It aims to provide friendly and informative responses based on the context of the conversation.

It's important to note that while ChatGPT is a powerful language model, it may occasionally produce inaccurate or nonsensical responses. It is always a good idea to verify information from reliable sources and use critical thinking when interpreting the generated responses".