Generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools have evolved to the point where they can generate content that is becoming more realistic and more difficult to distinguish from human intellectual property. Some of these tools can effectively generate various types of text (ChatGPT, Jasper), computer code (GitHub, Copilot), equations (Wolfram), scientific papers with references (Elicit), or images (DALL-E, Midjourney).
While there are many different generative AI models currently operating, ChatGPT has gained the most attention globally because it is freely available to the public, has a simple and user-friendly interface, is able to interpret natural language prompts, and is able to generate unique responses based on predictive models it has been trained on. The quality and validity of outputs from generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can be highly variable, depending on the prompt it has been given and the way the algorithms have been trained. However, this is improving as the model trains itself and gains access to more and different data sets.
As generative AI tools continue to evolve, discussions about their impact on education are ongoing. However, in the Canadian context, many educators agree that instead of trying to ban the use of generative AI tools, post-secondary institutions need be able to meaningfully adapt their educational practices much like they were able to do so in the past with previous technologies that raised concerns, such as calculators, spelling and grammar-checkers, search engines, Wikipedia, etc. (Kovanovic, 2023; Monash University, 2023).
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