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Four things to keep in mind before using ChatGPT

AI tools can help or hinder you in your studies, depending on how you use them. If you want to explore the possibilities of generative AI, we have listed four key points that you should be aware of first.

There is currently a lot of talk about generative AI tools (GAI), such as ChatGPT, in relation to both studies and the work field. In the context of the landscape of universities, many people consider and discuss how we could use these tools to improve learning conditions but also how to avoid using them in a way that hinders learning. The technology is improving rapidly and it’s important to stay up to date, but for now you need to first and foremost be aware of the following four things if you are a student at Lund University and want to use GAI when you study.

1. Double-check if GAI is allowed

If the teacher has not explicitly allowed the use of GAI during an examination assignment, you should assume that it is not allowed and that it will be seen as cheating. If you want to use GAI, you always have to ask the teacher first if it’s allowed and if it is, how you are expected to document your use of them. Should ChatGPT be included in the reference list? If you make it look like you have written something that a GAI tool has written, it’s considered cheating.

2. Focus on learning

If the use of GAI is allowed, you should practise using them in a way that promotes learning. Not least, GAI tools are useful for getting help to get started or to move forward, for someone experiencing writer’s block or finding themselves with a lack of ideas. You can get help with a disposition or suggestions on content. GAI can answer questions, propose arguments or compare texts with each other. Of course, you should not use the material from the tools directly, but it’s a good way of kick-starting creativity or to get a first answer which you can research further. You can also ask GAI to summarise texts as a way to get into the reading or to determine whether a text is at all relevant for the assignment that you’re working on.

Find more suggestions in the blog post below.

Peter Parnes gives you tips on how ChatGPT can improve learning in a school context (In Swedish) – parnes.com

3. Always fact-check GAI

If you’re allowed to use the tools in your studies, it’s important to be aware of the fact that the generated texts aren’t always factually correct. GAI prioritizes what is likely over what is true and doesn't hesitate to "lie" if it doesn't "know" the answer. Furthermore, most tools are not updated with newer information. This means that you need to always double-check the information with other sources if you want to use the information for something important. By analysing the answers, you improve your questions and in that way become better at understanding what the tools can and cannot do.

4. Value the integrity of yourself and others

In order to benefit from GAI, one often needs to provide extensive prompts, that is to say typing in questions, instructions or texts that the GAI reacts to. Therefore, it’s important to know that you are submitting anything you write to the company behind the tool. Be mindful of what you are typing and never write anything that could be considered confidential or private.