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Establish Policies to Address Generative AI Writing Tools 

 January 16, 2023

By  James Brauer

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Generative AI writing tools are becoming increasingly popular and accessible not only for students, but also for organizations that need to produce content quickly and with little effort.

While these tools have many advantages, it is important for learning organizations to create a policy concerning their usage so that their employees understand the potential implications of using this technology.

Let’s take a look at why creating an organizational policy is essential.

Generative AI Writing Tools Enhance Efficiency and Quality

Generative AI writing tools allow users to quickly generate high-quality content by taking advantage of existing data and artificial intelligence. These tools are especially useful when creating reports or research papers as they can produce a finished product in less time than conventional methods.

In addition, generative AI writing tools can be used to help businesses improve their overall content quality by providing accurate grammar checks, spelling corrections, and other features that help ensure accuracy and readability. This allows businesses to focus on other aspects of the process instead of worrying about whether or not the content meets certain standards.

The Potential Issues with Generative AI Writing Tools

While generative AI writing tools offer numerous benefits, they can also lead to problems if used improperly. For instance, if an employee uses a tool without understanding its capabilities or limitations, they may produce inaccurate or misleading results which could negatively impact the business’s reputation.

Additionally, some employees may be tempted to use these tools as a shortcut instead of putting in the effort required to properly write documents themselves. This could lead to poor quality work since these tools do not always generate content that is completely free from errors or inaccuracies.

Finally, if generative AI writing tools are abused by employees, then this could put the organization at risk of copyright infringement as some of these programs generate text from existing sources without permission from original authors.

Example of a Policy for Higher Education

Last week, I presented my team with the following draft for consideration. My recommendation for educators is to create policies that:

  • acknowledge the use of AI tools for contributing to many processes and output;
  • insist that any official work submissions derived from AI output be vetted and sourced, where applicable;
  • encourage the broad use of such tools for further exploration and discovery; and
  • educate users to recognize authentic vs synthetic content.

Last week, I presented my team with the following draft for consideration.

Avila University School of Education Policy on Academic Honesty and Generative Artificial Intelligence Content Writing

This policy establishes the standard for academic honesty and generative artificial intelligence (AI) content writing in paper assignments and assessments at Avila University’s School of Education. This policy applies to all members of the SOE community, including faculty, staff, and students.

The use of AI tools to create content can be a valuable resource for education communities. However, the result of these tools should not be submitted in its totality without being carefully reviewed and corrected prior to submission. It is important that all sources are correctly cited when using AI-generated content in order to maintain academic standards of integrity.

In order to ensure that all written assignments and assessments reflect an acceptable level of quality, accuracy, and integrity, it is required that all students adhere to this policy. The following outlines the expectations:

  • All AI-generated content must be manually reviewed prior to submission; any discrepancies or errors must be corrected before submitting the work.
  • Any AI-generated content included in written assignments or assessments must be properly cited with full attribution following APA style guidelines so as not to violate copyright laws or misrepresent intellectual property rights.
  • All sources used in researching topics must also be properly cited with full attribution following APA (7th edition) style guidelines.
  • Cheating or plagiarizing will not be tolerated; any attempts or results from such practices will result in disciplinary action as outlined by Avila University’s Student Code of Conduct Policies and Procedures.
  • Faculty members have the authority to require extra steps beyond this policy for individual courses; instructions for such steps will be provided directly by the instructor at the beginning of each semester/term/session/etc.
  • Before submitting any paper assignment or assessment involving AI-generated content, students should describe their process for ensuring academic integrity within their work; this description should include a list of sources consulted and how those sources were used when constructing their work product(s).

Recommendations for Avila University School of Education Faculty & Staff

  • Educate students on the rules and regulations of academic honesty and generative AI content writing at the beginning of each semester/term/session, etc.
  • Provide clear guidance to students about how to correctly cite AI-generated content in accordance with APA style guidelines so as not to violate copyright laws or misrepresent intellectual property rights.
  • Train faculty members on recognizing potential cases of cheating and plagiarism, as well as outlining steps for proper disciplinary action should it be necessary.
  • Ensure that all paper assignments involving AI-generated content require a description from students regarding their process for ensuring academic integrity within their work (including sources consulted and how they were used).
  • Establish clear consequences and expectations regarding any violations of this policy by students; make sure these are understood by both faculty and student populations alike before beginning any coursework involving AI-generated content creations or submissions.

The University is dedicated to upholding academic integrity and responsible use of AI-generated content.

To ensure this, we provide clear guidance for students about how to cite AI-generated content in accordance with APA style guidelines, as well as expectations and consequences for any violations of policy by students. Faculty members are also trained on recognizing potential cases of cheating and plagiarism, so they can take proper disciplinary action if necessary.

Wrap-up

Creating an organizational policy concerning the use of generative AI writing tools is essential for learning organizations to protect themselves from potential issues that could arise due to their misuse or abuse.

By establishing clear guidelines on when and how these tools should be used, organizations can ensure that any content produced is accurate and of high-quality while also avoiding any potential legal issues related to copyright infringement.

With such a policy in place, organizations can confidently leverage generative AI writing technologies with peace of mind knowing that their employees are well-informed about their capabilities and limitations.

Curated Resources:

https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/business-benefits-artificial-intelligence

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ai-writing-tools-pros-cons-lei-kalina

https://www.charterworks.com/how-artificial-intelligence-tools-will-change-workplaces/

https://10xds.com/blog/benefits-of-artificial-intelligence-ai/

https://selfpublishingadvice.org/ai-for-authors-guidelines/

https://seo.ai/blog/google-is-not-against-ai-content

https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/archived/realworldresearch/innovation/8-ways-to-prepare-your-business-for-artificial-intelligence.htm

https://textcortex.com/post/how-to-ai-write-google-friendly-blog-post

https://blog.workday.com/en-us/2020/8-ways-to-help-ensure-your-companys-ai-is-ethical.html

https://www.simplilearn.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-artificial-intelligence-article

https://www.theverge.com/2023/1/5/23540291/chatgpt-ai-writing-tool-banned-writing-academic-icml-paper

https://insights.pecb.com/how-can-ai-writing-tools-assist-in-organizational-advancement/

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James Brauer


James Brauer, Ed.D., MBA is currently Director of Graduate Education at Avila University. Previously he was a virtual school administrator of a public online school serving students throughout the state of Iowa. Brauer has also served as an assistant principal and special education teacher. He is passionate about leadership and management, health and wellness, and personal development.

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