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Teaching with Generative AI

Resources and guidance for instructors

What is Generative AI?

“Artificial intelligence” (or AI) is a catch-all term that encompasses a wide range of machine learning technologies that use large data sets – collections of information – to make predictions or conclusions. AI technologies have been with us for some time - predictive text, social media algorithms, content recommendation, surveillance, and translation tools all use AI to some extent.

“Generative AI” (or GenAI) is the class of tools where the AI creates – or generates! – something like an image, a paragraph, a video, or a sound file. This guide specifically focuses on generative AI (GenAI).

GenAI tools are increasingly being incorporated into the main products of Big Tech companies like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. ChatGPT, the most famous GenAI tool, is made by a company called OpenAI.

Learn more AI-related terms at the Wikipedia Glossary of Artificial Intelligence.

This information comes from the Learning Technology & Innovation, Thompson Rivers University AI in Education website and University of Sheffield Generative AI LibGuide.

Shared Documents from BCIT

The following documents about GenAI have been published by BCIT.

What is ChatGPT?

OpenAI's ChatGPT is a popular GenAI tool. Released in November 2022, it has sparked global interest in artificial intelligence. ChatGPT is based on GPT large language models (LLMs) trained on vast quantities of data, mostly from the public internet. it uses algorithms and neural networks to learn patterns and relationships in data and generate new outputs based on that learning. It attempts to make synthetic content which could have plausibly been created by a human.

This video gives an overview of ChatGPT:

Looking for a really technical explanation of how ChatGPT works? Computer scientist Stephen Wolfram explains: What is ChatGPT Doing... and Why Does it Work?


Information in this box comes from Kwantlen Polytechnic University Library.

Some Harm Considerations of Large Language Models (LLMs)

This H5P object was created by Rebecca Sweetman and is available via a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

Some Ethical Considerations of GenAI

Labour issues: like many technological tools we rely on, ChatGPT is made usable because of underpaid and traumatic labour in the Global South. Consider how using this tool might trouble our collective values relating to EDI and decolonial principles.

Discrimination: because AI data sets come from our real world, with all its inherent racism, ableism, sexism, and so on, AI tools can also generate discriminatory outcomes. Consider how using this tool might trouble our understanding of equitable inclusion.

Climate changethe race to develop increasingly sophisticated Generative AI is not carbon neutral. Consider how using this tool might trouble our sustainability values.

Copyright: massive quantities of copyrighted information are used to train GenAI models. This material, mostly scraped from publicly available websites, is used without permission, compensation, or attribution.

This information comes from the Learning Technology & Innovation, Thompson Rivers University AI in Education website.

Creative Commons License

Teaching with Generative AI LibGuide by BCIT Library Services is licensed CC BY-NC, meaning it can be used for non-commercial purposes if attribution is provided. Learn more about Creative Commons licenses on the BCIT Open Education LibGuide.

Creative Commons BY NC.