This guide was created for Biochemistry CHEM 453, Winter 2024.

Understanding Generative AI

Image showing that Generative AI is a result of deep learning algorithms from machine learning, which is a type of artificial intelligence.

Gen AI: The good, the bad, the ugly...

The Good: 

Gen AI can: 

  • Help make science more understandable and approachable for students and the public
  • Help students with learning disabilities or gaps in knowledge 
  • Help students ask questions
  • Help reduce language barriers
  • Provide a basis for understanding
  • Provide writing examples 
  • Help students find inspiration in research

The bad: 

Gen AI can: 

  • Create “Hallucinations” - Inaccurate, nonsensical, or biased results generated by machine learning that is not humanly discernable
  • Lack current information-- ChatGPT only has 2023 data
  • Potentially lead to a loss of critical thinking skills
  • Potentially be used for plagiarism

The ugly: 

“Artificial intelligence makes manifest of bias that have always been there-- our human inability to deal with diversity and complexity.” - Jutta Traviranus, Director of the Inclusive Design Research Center

  • Biased data leads to bias decisions
  • Those already marginalized and minoritized become further outliers as AI relies on the amplified quantities of information, thus human biases inherent in the data become amplified as well
  • Inaccurate data leads to inaccurate results
  • “Garbage in, garbage out.” 

Gen AI for Identifying Research Topics

Avoiding Pitfalls