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Artificial Intelligence

This guide was written by staff of the TJU libraries and of the Office for Professional Writing, Publication, and Communication to aid your exploration of AI as a tool for education, research, and lifelong learning.

Welcome to the Thomas Jefferson University Research Guide on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

This guide is designed to provide an educational resource for faculty, researchers, and students, offering comprehensive insights into the field of AI. This is an ongoing guide and will be updated with new content as time goes on, so be sure to check back every once in a while!

Artificial Intelligence is a rapidly evolving domain, increasingly integral to various aspects of our daily lives. Understanding its mechanisms and applications is both advantageous and essential. This Home section delves into several key topics, including the definition and current applications of AI, the challenges it presents, and additional resources for further exploration. To the left, you will find additional tabs covering varied themes, such as the role of AI in Teaching and Learning, its applications in Writing, and research in the field. You are encouraged to explore these sections at your leisure.

We trust that this guide will prove to be an invaluable resource in your exploration and study of Artificial Intelligence.

The libraries at Thomas Jefferson University stand by the institution's policies on academic integrity. We would like to remind the University community, students, faculty, and staff of the importance of using appropriate and correct attribution of original works and using generative AI responsibly. We would also like to remind our colleagues that tools used to detect AI while helpful are fallible. We recommend working with students to determine the extent to which AI was used in the creation of their academic works.

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an umbrella term for any theory, computer system, or software that is developed to allow machines to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Example: Personal assistant on smart devices, e.g., Alexa, Siri, Hey Google.

Generative AI is a type of AI system capable of generating text, images, or other media in response to prompts. ChatGPT is probably the most common one that has been floating around, but there are other known ones such as Microsoft Copilot (only available on Edge browser or the app) and Google Bard. These three are mostly text based, but some can also produce AI generated images.

Currently, at Thomas Jefferson University, you are now able to log into Microsoft Copilot with your Jefferson credentials. This will make all personal and company data protected while you are utilizing Copilot. Pretty cool! Access Copilot with this link on any browser (not just Edge).

Advantages vs Limitations

Just like with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to utilizing Generative AI. These are just a few!


  • Can automate or speed up tasks
  • Can remove or lower skill/time barriers for context generation
  • Can quickly analyze or explore complex data
  • Can interpret human requests and provide a quick response
  • Can be considered an assistive technology to support learning


  • Prone to "hallucinations" or made up content
  • Possible plagiarism and privacy concerns
  • Content can be difficult to reproduce consistently, to validate, or to properly attribute
  • Trained on data with cutoff dates (not always clear to the user)
  • Output can be over-simplified, low quality, or very generic
  • Can perpetuate stereotypes, exhibit bias, and present narrow perspectives in both image and text generators

Generative AI is a remarkable resource, but it's essential to consider its potential drawbacks. The field of Generative AI is dynamic and continually expanding, evidenced by the growth of online chatbots surpassing those mentioned earlier. To utilize chatbot's benefits effectively, exploring various options and experimenting with different chatbots is advisable. This experimentation will enable you to identify the most suitable one based on your specific use case.

Resources for Further Exploration

Current generative AI chat bots worth exploring:

If you would like to look into further resources, here are a few to get you started. Other books/articles/resources will be listed in the Jefferson Libraries & Digital Repository Resources section of this guide.

Dixon Library
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Gutman Library
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Scott Library
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