As the world of Higher Education increasingly embraces the power of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI), the University is taking proactive steps to equip you with the knowledge and skills to navigate this rapidly evolving landscape. On 10 April, we started a series of Instagram Quiz and Poll Stories, exploring the complexities of GenAI, starting with a focus on bias.

The initial Story reached over 2,500 registered University of Bath Instagram accounts, with an impressive 755 engagements. Through a series of quizzes and polls, we sought to gauge an understanding of bias mitigation strategies, the importance of data provenance, and techniques for improving GenAI output quality and validity.

The quiz results revealed some insightful findings. When asked about mitigating bias in GenAI, over 50% of respondents correctly identified "asking for counter arguments" as an effective approach. Similarly, 64% of those who participated understood that data provenance is crucial for evaluating sources and potential biases.

However, the data also highlighted areas where students could benefit from further skills and knowledge development. For instance, while 51% of respondents identified "asking clarifying questions and digging deeper" as a strategy to improve GenAI output quality and validity, 33% thought that "providing simple, clear instructions" would be effective. Additionally, 29% of participants thought "repeating the prompt to check reliability" helps mitigate against bias in GenAI tools.

Understanding biases in GenAI output and your own biases is key to evaluating information and responses provided by GenAI tools. Interestingly, the polls revealed confirmation bias as the most significant factor affecting the respondents evaluation of GenAI responses, with 59% indicating this as the primary bias. Recognising both forms of bias - in the AI systems and your own - will help you become a responsible user of generative AI output and avoid the potentially harmful impacts from over-relying on imperfect algorithmic systems.

To explore the nuances of GenAI further, we've created an introduction to Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) Module. This offers a mix of content to not only familiarise yourself with GenAI tools but also to develop competencies in using them effectively and responsibly. The module includes the following resources:

  • Using AI tools for your work at university: discover how to strike the right balance between technological assistance and individual effort.
  • GenAI Prompts: learn how to produce effective prompts and techniques that refine GenAI responses.
  • GenAI Information Literacy: examine the strengths, limitations and ethical considerations associated with GenAI.
  • GenAI Critical Thinking and Evaluation: develop your analytical skills and learn how to critically evaluate AI-generated content.
  • GenAI Ethics: explore the key ethical implications relating to truth, privacy, and environmental impact.
  • GenAI Biases: develop a critical awareness of biases in generative AI systems and human users when interacting with these systems.
  • GenAI Data Privacy and Security: develop insights into the data privacy and security considerations of GenAI systems, including ethical data collection practices, secure data storage protocols, and responsible data sharing procedures.

Overall, it's important to approach new GenAI tools thoughtfully. Let them inspire you, augment your skills, and expand your knowledge - but maintain your human discretion, ethics, and critical thinking at every step.

We encourage you to engage with the GenAI Module and participate in the upcoming Instagram Story series, which will cover the following topics:

  • 17 April: Critical Thinking and Evaluation
  • 22 April: Data Privacy and Security
  • 29 April: Ethics
  • 6 May: Information Literacy
  • 13 May: Prompts

The valuable insights from these Stories will help us tailor content to address your specific needs and knowledge gaps, ensuring you are empowered to use these tools confidently and responsibly in your work.

Posted in: academic integrity, academic skills, academic writing, critical thinking, digital skills, essay-writing, ethical scholar, GenAI, plagiarism

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