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Chat GPT and AI Technology

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Chat GPT and AI Technology

What is AI?

AI (Artificial Intelligence) "is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable [emphasis added]." (McCarthy, n.d.)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is sometimes also referred to as machine learning (ML), but the two concepts are not identical. Similarly, Large Language Models (LLMs) are often referred to as AI and fit under the umbrella of AI along with ML but LLMs and ML do not demonstrate actual intelligence.

Intelligence of created systems and algorithms is typically compared to human intelligence. Sometimes LLMs and ML products can appear to have human intelligence, but that appearance is the product of coding, not actual intelligence.

ML (Machine Learning) is "algorithms that give computers the ability to learn from data, and then make predictions and decisions". Examples include automatically detecting spam emails, suggesting videos to watch after finishing one, etc. (CrashCourse, 2017) 

LLMs (Large Language Models) "can generate natural language texts from large amounts of data. Large language models use deep neural networks, such as transformers, to learn from billions or trillions of words, and to produce texts on any topic or domain. Large language models can also perform various natural language tasks, such as classification, summarization, translation, generation, and dialogue." (Maeda & Chaki, 2023)

GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) "models give applications the ability to create human-like text and content (images, music, and more), and answer questions in a conversational manner." (What Is GPT AI?, n.d.)

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What is ChatGPT Good and Not Good For?

Remember, you'll always need to verify the information, because ChatGPT will sometimes make things ups (known as "hallucination.")

What is it good for?

  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Narrowing your topic ideas for a research paper, and finding keywords for searching in library databases (see Generate Topics for Your Research Paper with ChatGPT)
  • Explaining information in ways that are easy to understand
  • Summarizing and outlining
  • Asking questions (be sure to fact check the results)
  • Translating text to different languages (although it's not completely fluent in every language)
  • Helping write or debug computing code
  • Humor and improvisation

What is it not so good for?

  • Library research (although this may change in the future): for now, it's best to use Central SearchUCO databases, or Google Scholar so that you don't end up with citations that don't actually exist
  • Asking for any information that would have dire consequences if it was incorrect (such as health, financial, legal advice, and so on) because of ChatGPT's tendency to sometimes make up answers and still sound very confident.

University of Arizona Libraries AI LibGuide, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

AI Tools


CrashCourse (Director). (2017, November 1). Machine learning & artificial intelligence: Crash course computer science #34

Maeda, J., & Chaki, E. (2023, April 3). Concepts overview for LLM AI. Microsoft Build.

McCarthy, J. (n.d.). What is AI?: Basic questions. Professor John McCarthy. Retrieved May 3, 2023, from

Staines, H., et al. (2023). Charleston In between: The future of scholarly communication in a ChatGPT world

What is GPT AI? - generative pre-trained transformers explained - AWS. (n.d.). Amazon Web Services, Inc. Retrieved August 10, 2023, from

University of Washington Libraries AI Libguide, CC BY-NC