Generative Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom
The latest generation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems will impact teaching and learning in many ways, presenting both opportunities and challenges for the ways our course instructors and students engage in learning. At the University of Toronto, we remain committed to providing students with transformative learning experiences and to supporting instructors as they adapt their pedagogy in response to this emerging technology.
While many generative AI systems have recently become available, ChatGPT is currently the most prominent, garnering worldwide media attention. This is an AI tool that uses predictive technology to create or revise written products of all kinds, including essays, computer code, lesson plans, poems, reports, and letters. The products that the tool creates are generally of good quality, although they can have inaccuracies. We encourage you to try the system to test its capabilities and limitations.
In this FAQ, ChatGPT refers to the free, online AI chat system that utilizes the OpenAI GPT technology. Please note that this is only one of a variety of generative AI tools currently available.
Sample Syllabus Statements
April 2023: The University has created sample statements for instructors to include in course syllabi and course assignments to help shape the message to students about what AI technology is, or is not, allowed. These statements may be used for both graduate and undergraduate level courses.
July 2023: The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) announced new Guidance on the Appropriate Use of Generative Artificial Intelligence in Graduate Theses which will be of interest to graduate students, supervisors, supervisory committee members, Graduate Chairs and Graduate Units.
September 2023: There remains significant legal uncertainty concerning the use of generative AI tools in regard to copyright. This is an evolving area, and our understanding will develop as new policies, regulations, and case law becomes settled. Some of the concerns surrounding generative AI and copyright include:
- Input: The legality of the content used to train AI models is unknown in some cases. There are a number of lawsuits originating from the US that allege Generative AI tools infringe on copyright and it remains unclear if and how the fair use doctrine can be applied. In Canada, there also remains uncertainty regarding the extent to which existing exceptions in the copyright framework, such as fair dealing, apply to this activity.
- Output: Authorship and ownership of works created by AI is unclear. Traditionally, Canadian law has indicated that an author must be a natural person (human) who exercises skill and judgement in the creation of a work. As there are likely to be varying degrees of human input in generated content, it is unclear in Canada how it will be determined who the appropriate author and owner of works are. More recently, the US Copyright Office has published the following guide addressing these issues: Copyright Registration Guidance for Works Containing AI-Generated Materials.
If you have further questions about copyright, please view the U of T Libraries webpage, Generative AI tools and Copyright Considerations for the latest information.
If you are an instructor who is interested in in using generative AI to develop course materials, review the FAQ below for considerations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have feedback or want more information?
If you have any suggestions for teaching and learning resources that would be helpful to you as a course instructor, or if you have any other questions about generative AI at U of T that are not addressed through this FAQ, contact us now: