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ChatGPT and Other AI Tools

Artificial intelligence tools and supporting literature.

About ChatGPT

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence language model that can engage in conversational interactions and provide responses to a wide range of queries. Developed by OpenAI and released in November, 2022, ChatGPT has been used by millions of students, researchers, and others seeking information on various topics, although it is not intended to be used as a scholarly research tool.

How does ChatGPT work?

Essentially a text generator, ChatGPT was trained to simulate human writing. Its algorithm uses probability to decide what word might come next in a string. So, although its answers may sound plausible, the information generated cannot be relied upon to be accurate.1

When should I use ChatGPT?

Check out ChatGPT for help with brainstorming a topic or organizing your writing, but be aware of the risks of outdated, inaccurate, and biased content.

When should I NOT use ChatGPT? 

ChatGPT was not designed to help with diagnosis or treatment decisions or to conduct scholarly research. Although some types of AI were trained to perform diagnostic tasks (e.g. GI Genius), or to summarize scholarly research (e.g. Elicit), ChatGPT was specifically designed to mimic human communication. Also, do not expect a legitimate bibliography of references, as this AI will often provide citations that don’t exist! 2

Benefits of ChatGPT

  • Convenient for brainstorming topics of interest
  • Provides summaries/outlines that can serve as a draft or prompt for your own writing or teaching

Limitations of ChatGPT

  • Limited knowledge of world events and published content after 2021 
  • No access to full text that sits behind a paywall (e.g. subscription-based journal articles) 
  • May produce fabricated information and citations, called "hallucinations" (more on OpenAI's FAQ page)



  1. Flanagin A, Bibbins-Domingo K, Berkwits M, et al. Nonhuman “authors” and implications for the integrity of scientific publication and medical knowledge. JAMA. 2023;329(8):637–639. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.1344
  2. Alkaissi H, McFarlane SI. Artificial hallucinations in ChatGPT: implications in scientific writingCureus. 2023 Feb 19;15(2):e35179. doi: 10.7759/cureus.35179

Additional Resources

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