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AI Tools and Resources

Introduction to generative AI concepts and tools

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This subject guide includes information and suggested resources for leveraging and beginning research on Generative Artificial Intelligence. Generative AI is one type of artificial intelligence (AI) system that generates text, images, and other media in response to user prompts.  Use the navigation on the left to explore the background, key terms, issues, online toolsets, and recommended reading on Generative AI applications like ChatGPT and other popular generative toolsets.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How can I learn more about AI tools?

A. Those interested in learning more about AI tools and how to effectively use them should consider one of the many educational offerings provided at USF. For Research-focused applications, the USF Workshops for Researchers cater directly to teaching AI toolsets and consider the attribution of AI-generated content. For teaching using AI tools, Innovative Education offers a GenAI Skills workshop to help instructors learn how to apply AI in their classrooms. 

Q. Is it wrong for me to use AI tools?

A. As a whole, it is not inherently wrong for you to use an AI toolset. Keep in mind, that many of the foundations of AI toolsets have been used for years now (ex. machine learning), and have been largely ethically applied. The ethical dilemmas that exist currently are largely focused on where AIs source their training materials and those who try to misrepresent AI-generated content as their own original works. For use at USF in coursework, your faculty members must give the okay for AI usage. Separately, if you're developing research deliverables with AI, it's key to understand what your publisher's/conferences' stance on AI is. For questions on this, please contact LeEtta Schmidt, USF Libraries' Copyright and Intellectual Property Librarian, at 

Q. Which AI tools can I use for free?

A. There are a variety of AI toolsets that are free to access. You can find several of these on our Tools for Research page. While many of these offer premium versions that cost more, many are free to get started with. Keep in mind though, that user data is not made private within many of these applications as a result. 

Q. Can AI be detected in assignments and publications?

A. While some platforms have claimed to be able to detect AI usage within submitted assignments/papers, none have been able to consistently prove it. As a result, USF as well as many other institutions have not been able to leverage their traditional plagiarism checkers to access AI written content. However, it should be noted, that AI-written content can often stray significantly from our own writing styles. Additionally, AI-written content is at risk of hallucinations or a limited knowledge base. Please keep this in mind as you both develop assignments for your students or as you develop your own research papers. 

Q. Should I credit an AI within my work if I leveraged one?

A. In most circumstances, yes, the use of generative AI tools should be cited.  This is entirely contextual to the work you're completing. For generating emails and editing grammar, there is no need to credit an AI unless you're simply copying and pasting its response to an inquiry.  Remember that you are still responsible for all your communication even if it was generated by AI.

For presentations, assignments, and coursework the use of any generative AI tool must be approved by your faculty member.  If used in a publication, your publisher may expect you to attribute the AIs you’ve used. It is key to understand that AI cannot retain copyright, as human authorship has been deemed as the baseline for copyright. For more information, see our “Citing Generative AI Resources”, “Publisher Policies” and “Copyright and Generative AI” pages.

Q. Can I talk to my liaison librarian about covering AI in the classroom or should I ask someone else in the library?

A. Yes, your liaison librarian and the Libraries’ AI topic specialists will be happy to speak on AI guidance during an instructional session. For research applications of AI tools, we recommended contacting Research and Instruction Librarian, Evan Fruehauf, who can provide research and instructional support tied to AI usage. For Copyright and Attribution, we recommended contacting Copyright and Intellectual Property Librarian, LeEtta Schmidt, who can assist with any questions regarding best practices.  

Q. Where can I find university policies about AI at USF?

A. All policies on AI applications at USF can be found on the USF Hub for Generative AI. Keep in mind, that current policy at USF enables faculty members to make the final call on whether certain technologies can be permitted for classroom usage. If not explicitly defined by your faculty members, it is not strictly allowed in all applications. Remember to stay transparent!