Skip to Main Content

Integration of AI tools into your research

Ethics of AI for researchers

This tab will provide a point of view on the challenges of using AI and how to consider using it to its fullest capacity while maintaining ethical standards. 

Bias

You must ensure that you account for possible biases that your AI model will produce. For instance, the AI model will provide resources that might only feature the most recent sources, have the most peer reviews, or generate unsuccessful resources for your application if the prompt is not clear. You must continually reread the sources provided as they pertain to your specific question; this can lead to biases if you do not search for sources that counter your research question. Generative AI has been known to produce sources that do not exist and create answers that are inaccurate or false. 

Further Readings

Reliability

It is almost impossible to have an AI model that is operating at 100% accuracy. With some AI models, it is found that they can produce false responses, which can then lead to disinformation, skewed research results, and marketing the AI tool as unreputable. It is important to read forums produced by the AI model company that openly recognize that their model will generate inaccurate results or produce bias and how to avoid these issues. 

Further Readings

Prompting

When asking your AI model research questions you will get varied responses depending on how specific you want it to be. Sometimes you must clarify to the model that what it has produced might have not answered; it is important to reword your input to see if this fixes the problem. The AI model will interpret what it thinks you are asking and that is why users will get varied responses. If you ask for the model to answer a question, it should be noted to ask if it can present citations if the application does not already do so. AI models must continually be trained on how to explain its responses by remaining transparent on information so as to remain neutral unless instructed by the user to provide strict evidence on their topic. 

Further Readings

Privacy

Most, if not all, AI models require an account to use their site even if it is free. Some sites allow you to use preexisting accounts you may already have such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple accounts. The sites you allow access to your preexisting accounts could potentially fail if exposed to cyber security attacks harvesting your personal information. Using a burner accounts or alias does not provide a barrier to your identity when performing academic research. Using a VPN provides a buffer of security which allows you to stay safe while on the web and downloading resources and is highly recommended for all computers. Click here to access a free VPN download through the UofA(you must be a UA affiliate in order to use this).