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Artificial Intelligence Toolkit for Faculty

Before We Begin...

Generative artificial intelligence is fundamentally changing how we find, create, and share information. These AI tools are evolving quickly, with new details emerging daily regarding their use, regulation, and societal impact.  

While efforts will be made to maintain the relevance and currency of this guide, it's important to acknowledge that the information contained within may become outdated before we can update it. 

The LAVC Library does not endorse any specific AI technologies, and advises users to exercise discretion regarding the disclosure of personal information while using such tools. 

Artificial Intelligence Defined

Merriateacher robotm-Webster

Artificial intelligence (AI) is "the capability of computer systems or algorithms to imitate intelligent human behavior" (Merriam-Webster).


ChatGPT 4

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and learn like humans. The term can also be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving. The capabilities of AI can range from performing simple tasks to undertaking more complex functions that require reasoning, speech recognition, visual perception, and decision-making.


AI Ain't New

Most of us have been interacting with AI for years -- probably without realizing it! Consider: predictive text (smartphone, email, etc.), image and speech recognition, self-driving cars, voice-to-text recording, personal assistants (Siri, Alexa, etc.), Netflix recommendations, targeted ads...the list goes on! Check out the AI Timeline at the bottom of this page to learn more about its history.

Image generated by DALL-E on March 21, 2024, using the prompt "create a wacky cartoon image of a robot teaching a college class."

Essential AI Literacy

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Generative AI (GenAI) refers to artificial intelligence systems that can generate new content, such as text, images, music, or code, which resembles human-created content. Unlike traditional AI, which is designed to understand or interpret information, generative AI actively creates new data that was not explicitly programmed into it. This is achieved through machine learning models that have been trained on large datasets of existing content. By analyzing and understanding patterns, styles, and structures within this data, generative AI can produce original outputs (ChatGPT-4, personal communication, March 28, 2024) 

Large Language Models (LLMs)

Large language models form the foundation for generative AI (GenAI) systems. GenAI systems include some chatbots and tools including OpenAI’s GPTs, Google’s Gemini, and many more. LLMs are artificial neural networks, pre-trained with deep learning techniques on massive data sets of text documents. At a very basic level, LLMs detect statistical relationships between how likely a word is to appear following the previous word. As they answer questions or write text, LLMs use the model of the likelihood of a word occurring to predict the next word to generate (adapted from the Glossary of Artificial Intelligence Terms for Educators, April 12, 2024).


ChatGPT is an AI-powered conversational agent developed by OpenAI based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture. It uses natural language processing (NLP) techniques to generate human-like responses to user inputs. 

ChatGPT has been trained on a large dataset of text from the internet and can generate responses on a wide range of topics. It is designed to provide a more engaging and personalized experience for users interacting with chatbots, virtual assistants, and other conversational AI applications.

Want to learn more jargon? Check out this Glossary of Artificial Intelligence Terms for Educators.

Image generated by DALL-E on March 21, 2024, using the prompt "create a whimsical, cartoon-style image of a robot deep in contemplation."

AI Timeline

History of AI Non Commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). Kyle Mackie (Author). Source Adapted from: "History of Artificial Intelligence". Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland Australia.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.