Five Things Every College Student Should Know About AI-assisted Writing

  1. How is AI-generated text produced?

    Natural language generators like ChatGPT analyze patterns, language structures, and contextual information using complex algorithms and extensive datasets. Based on this information, they make predictions to generate human-like text based on specific input or prompts, going beyond simple error detection and correction like spell check and grammar check programs.

  2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of AI-generated text?

    Interacting with generative AI can be like having a tutor or collaborator helping you overcome writer’s block, providing alternative perspectives, and assisting with brainstorming. However, AI is not a magic solution for all writing challenges. It’s important to recognize that AI-generated texts lack common sense, creativity, nuance–and sometimes tact! They can also generate misinformation and reproduce bias.

  3. Who is responsible for AI output?

    The responsibility to critically evaluate, revise, and refine AI-generated text always lies with the writer. AI-generated text may not always be accurate, clear, or suitable for a particular context. It’s essential to review and revise the output, ensuring it aligns with your ideas, makes sense, is accurate, and conveys your intended message.

  4. How can I engage AI ethically?

    Make sure you are clear about when and how individual instructors authorize the use of generative AI for coursework. If you’re not sure, ask. Vet AI-generated information for accuracy and reliability; adhere to citation guidelines that are suited to the rhetorical situation; and make sure your work reflects your own understanding.

  5. Can AI learn to write for me?

    Definitely not. Learning to write involves developing critical thinking skills, honing rhetorical awareness, engaging the voices of others, and cultivating your own perspective. While AI tools can provide support and suggestions, they cannot understand human expression, personal experiences, or rhetorical situations. In fact, writers need to draw on advanced writing and information literacy skills to make good judgments about how and when to incorporate AI into their writing process. 

Learn More: Writing Instruction in the Age of Generative AI