Last year, I wrote a few posts about how I use generative AI tools like ChatGPT and QuillBot to assist me with specific writing tasks.
If you’re interested, you can read those posts here:
In those posts, I discuss my ethical considerations in a bit more depth, but in sum, if people in academia generally consider it acceptable to pay a human being to assist me in performing a similar task, I believe it is an ethical use. For example, I use generative AI primarily for copyediting my own work, and it is socially acceptable to pay copyeditors for this in academia.
For me, an unethical use would be to have ChatGPT write entire sections of something I am writing without attribution. For example, it would be unethical to have a graduate student write sections of a paper but then exclude them as a co-author.
Aside from copyediting, I have used generative AI to 1) rewrite undergraduate assignments to make them more clear for students, 2) respond to IRB questions based on a proposal I had already written, and 3) quickly free-write letters of recommendation, allowing the AI tool to transform them into an appropriate format for the letter genre while correcting my spelling and grammar errors done in haste.
In each of these use cases, I’ve started with my own content and then used AI to put it into another format and/or polish it more quickly than I can do manually. My primary goal for using these AI tools is to save time.
I am curious how others are using generative AI for writing-related tasks, so here are some questions to get the conversation started. Feel free to use these or take the conversation where you will!
How do you use generative AI in your research and/or writing?
How would you define generative AI ethics for yourself?
What are your primary concerns if you are not currently using AI writing tools?
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I’ve been using chat gpt to summarize student survey responses so I easily share the results back with the class! (I do surveys at different points in the semester to understand preparation/what they hope to learn and also get feedback on what is helping them learn partway thru). I’m hoping to do a lesson for my students on using ChatGPT to summarize public comments also (and it’s definitely a process of working back and forth between your own reading and what ChatGPT finds).
I don’t do this myself but I have heard that folks use it to standardize email responses to students; and I’m going to show my students how to use it to write professional emails (while personalizing with their own flair).