This guide was designed to support student learning at Spokane Community College. Its primary goal is to provide an introduction to understanding Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI). Consider this guide a steppingstone in a journey of Digital Literacy / technology education. Note that this guide was created by a librarian and provides a general approach to learning about GenAI. This guide was not co-created with college administration or any specific academic programs or departments. Note that this guide was not created with the intention to promote GenAI as a universal technology solution. Students should critically think about technology tools and consider issues of use.
"Artificial intelligence is a field of science concerned with building computers and machines that can reason, learn, and act in such a way that would normally require human intelligence or that involves data whose scale exceeds what humans can analyze.
"AI is a broad field that encompasses many different disciplines, including computer science, data analytics and statistics, hardware and software engineering, linguistics, neuroscience, and even philosophy and psychology."
"Generative AI refers to deep-learning models that can generate high-quality text, images, and other content based on the data they were trained on."
GenAI Images have many of their own problems and issues, and often those connected intellectual property and copyright law are centered. However, bias and stereotyping is rampant across many GenAI tools. Issues include:
Updated December 2023
Ethics in the context of technology typically means using technology in a way that aligns with community values and standards. Ethics is a large topic with many branches. Occasionally in academia, ethics is connected to academic integrity. The Spokane Community College (SCC) Student Handbook describes another related area of thought, student conduct:
"Students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible members of the academic community. This includes obeying the law, complying with policies, procedures and rules of the district, the colleges and their departments, and maintaining a high standard of integrity and honesty and respecting the rights, privileges and property of others."
As members of the academic community, we should apply this way of thinking to how we interact with technology tools, including those that use GenAI.
Many writing styles have proposed language around GenAI citations and/or statements of use. Due to GenAI tools emerging in between official releases of the style guides, we have yet to see formal adoption in many of the official manuals, but the organizations who manage the styles are contributing resources to support students and researchers. Additionally, citation methods and strategies are being created locally at various schools and organizations. The following are links to two popular styles used at SCC:
You might also find the following guide from Grammarly helpful:
As GenAI becomes more prominent and used across disciplines and contexts, problems and issues with the technology emerge. Some of these problems are ethnical in nature and have to do with the values of the community, including legal constraints. Other problems may be concerned with the hardware and software of the technology. In many cases the lines are blurred and the issues overlap. Below are a few common issues.