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"Generative artificial intelligence [gen AI] is a subset of AI that utilizes machine learning models to create new, original content, such as images, text or music, based on patterns and structures learned from existing data” (Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation, 2023). Gen AI can also create code and video. Most gen AI tools create these new products in response to prompts from a user.

Gen AI became a topic of growing conversation in November 2023 with OpenAI’s launch of ChatGPT. Though ChatGPT has become synonymous with gen AI in many higher education circles, many other generative AI products exist. Examples include (but are not limited to) Gemini (formerly Bard), Claude, DALL-E, Firefly, Midjourney, OpenAI Codex and Sora.

Generative AI has had and will continue to have a sizeable effect on higher education, with numerous implications for teaching and learning. This requires adaptation and upskilling on the part of faculty, staff, and students and necessitates conversations about values, privacy, bias, and ethics. The goal of this page is to provide information as well as to address concerns and considerations related to generative AI.

The emergence of Gen AI poses both significant opportunities and challenges. On one hand, it has the potential to revolutionize various industries and sectors, ranging from healthcare and finance to transportation and entertainment, by enhancing efficiency, productivity and innovation. However, it also raises ethical questions, privacy issues and concerns about the socioeconomic impact of automation on the workforce. Ensuring responsible and ethnical deployment of Gen AI technologies will require interdisciplinary collaboration and the development of robust regulatory frameworks.

Educators face a daunting balancing act. They must provide students with experience using generative AI to prepare them for the evolving job market, where these tools are already being adopted and integrated. They must simultaneously protect and respect student privacy and introduce students to the limitations and ethical considerations of using these tools.