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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Introduction to Generative AI

This library guide is a UIUC campus resource to read and reference for instructional, professional, and personal learning. Updates will occur on a semester basis. Last Updated: March 2024

Research and Publishing

Screenshot of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s library catalog home page, which displays a search bar and catagories: find materials, libraries & hours, library guides, library technology, study rooms, and news and events.Using AI as part of your research and creative practice

Before incorporating generative AI into your research and writing process, consider the following questions:

  • What kind of task am I performing, and is this task something that generative AI can do well? 
  • How was this tool trained? What kinds of materials were included in its training set? And how does this shape its output? 
  • Does this tool offer sufficient data privacy for the kind of task that I am performing? 
  • Are there any policies in my academic unit or professional organizations which prohibit the use of generative AI? If so, what kinds of tasks do they prohibit? 

As you evaluate AI-generated outputs, engage with AI as a way to refine your ideas. Iterate with AI, don’t outsource:

  • Verify citations and facts with reliable sources
  • Recognize moments of limited knowledge and bias
  • Evaluate the range of sources cited in text-based outputs
  • Use library resources to add depth to your works cited
  • Asses visual tropes in images for bias
  • Document your use of AI