Text-based Generative AI tools like ChatGPT can be useful for you when you are brainstorming topic ideas or trying to come up with keywords to use to search on a specific topic. Remember that these tools are NOT sources of knowledge -- they are fluency-based text-language generators ("large language models"), which means that they literally guess what word comes next.
ChatGPT cannot yet find specific peer-reviewed articles, but it can help you get ideas for how to search for scholarship. It can suggest keywords, search strings, and format citations.
Example: I asked ChatGPT for some keywords to search for sources on the Conquest of Mexico. ChatGPT generated the following list, is mostly fine until about the 15th option:
Here are some keywords that you could use to research the conquest of Mexico:
Hernán Cortés, Aztecs, Montezuma II, Spanish Conquest, Tenochtitlan, Indigenous peoples of Mexico, Conquistadors, New Spain, Mesoamerica, Nahuatl language, Mexica, Tlaxcala, Bernal Diaz del Castillo, La Malinche, (less-than-accurate keywords begin here): Francisco Pizarro (best known for expeditions that led to conquest of Peru - not Mexico), Inca Empire (The primary indigenous empire of Peru), Conquest of Peru, Colonialism (too broad), Imperialism (too broad), Indigenous resistance (too broad)
You can prompt ChatGPT to be more specific in one or more areas, but note that the same will happen - a mix of good ideas, wrong ideas, and overly broad suggestions.
In addition to ChatGPT, there are several other AI tools that are similarly useful.
When we are doing research online, we need to think critically about the sources we use and if we want to build our research off these sources. Some questions we ask ourselves are:
We also must ask ourselves questions when using AI software tools. The LibrAIry has created the ROBOT test to consider when using AI technology.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
To cite in APA: Hervieux, S. & Wheatley, A. (2020). The ROBOT test [Evaluation tool]. The LibrAIry. https://thelibrairy.wordpress.com/2020/03/11/the-robot-test
Poet Joy Buolamwini shares "AI, Ain't I A Woman " - a spoken word piece that highlights the ways in which artificial intelligence can misinterpret the images of iconic black women: Oprah, Serena Williams, Michelle Obama, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and Shirley Chisholm.
This spoken word piece was inspired by Gender Shades, a research investigation that uncovered gender and skin-type bias in facial analysis technology from leading tech companies.
Read more on MIT's Black History Archive.
There is no consensus on how to easily cite AI software tools in your papers, as it's difficult to track where the information is pulled from.
One librarian at the University of Calgary, Paul Pival, on his blog "This Distant Librarian" discusses some of the current information he and his colleagues have said based on what citation styles are saying:
Because the purpose of references is to direct readers to the specific sources that a writer used, hopefully the text that ChatGPT generates in any particular chat can be saved, is shareable, or is otherwise retrievable. If so, the reference format in Section 10.10 (Software) can be used, with the company (“OpenAI”) as author, not “ChatGPT.” If the chat has no title, a description in square brackets (that ideally includes information on what prompts were used) would be created. That would give us the following:
OpenAI. (2023, January 17). [ChatGPT response to a prompt about three prominent themes in Emily Dickinson’s poetry]. https://chat.openai.com/.....
If the text that ChatGPT generates is not retrievable or shareable, then it falls into our catch-all “personal communication” category, where you cite with an in-text only citation: “(OpenAI, personal communication, January 16, 2023).”
Read more from APA style here: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/references/elements-list-entry#bracketed
As of May, 2023, the Chicago Manual of Style does not require crediting ChatGPT or similar tools whenever you use the text that they generate in your own work:
Other information about citing can be found in the links below:
Cook Library supports the mission of Western Theological Seminary by being the center for access to biblical, theological, and ministry information resources for students, faculty, and alumni of Western Theological Seminary and the West Michigan community.