Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Generative Artificial Intelligence

a hyperrealistic mixed race non-binary student carrying a glistening orb that has a glowing neural network inside it - standing in front of University Hall at McMaster University on a sunny fall day. Other students and faculty are blurred around them buy are moving in and out of buildingsUpdates, Events and Resources on Generative Artificial Intelligence

Over the summer of 2023 a Task Force worked to develop Provisional Guidelines on the use of generative AI in teaching and learning. Over the fall of 2023 we will begin to develop an ongoing Advisory Committee related to generative AI with a broader scope to include research, teaching and learning and the world of work. Continue to visit this page for news, events, resources and updates on generative AI at McMaster University.

While generative AI offers promising new avenues for enhancing pedagogical approaches and advancing research, we continue to approach its integration with thought and consideration. As we explore its applications, we continue to prioritize the informed engagement of our community. We invite our students, faculty, alumni, and partners to join us in this  exploration, ensuring that our approach to AI remains rooted in our collective values and the broader interests of our community.

*To demonstrate possibilities, all images on the Generative AI webpage were created using Midjourney – prompts available in the alt-text

Information Box Group

Task Force on Generative AI and Teaching and Learning Learn More

Review task force membership, terms of reference and the task force Final Report

Provisional Guidelines on the Use of Generative AI in Teaching and Learning Review the Provisional Guidelines

Read the guiding principles, provisional guidelines, and sample syllabus statements

a morphism rendering of a neural network intertwined with tree roots

What is generative artificial intelligence?

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that uses machine learning to generate new content by analyzing and processing vast amounts of data from diverse sources. Generative AI tools can generate text, images, video, sound, and code. Different tools are trained on different datasets and with different training methods. The generated responses of these tools are probabilistic, which can result in errors in responses. OpenAI’s ChatGPT is a chatbot created on the foundational models of GPT 3 or GPT 4. There are many other generative AI tools, including Microsoft’s Bing, Midjourney, Anthropic’s Claude and more. You can learn more about generative AI tools, including privacy considerations at this link. 

What are some of the limitations or risks with generative AI?

While the innovation and creativity of generative AI is exciting, these systems do not come without limitations or ethical challenges. Some of these challenges speak to the specifics of the post-secondary context – like academic integrity – while others intersect with communities, the environment, and humanity as a whole.

With many of the available generative AI tools the tools may produce incorrect or biased responses. For many there are considerations around privacy and the use of personal data. In all cases we encourage members of the campus community to use these tools with caution and care.

We welcome questions or feedback

Information Box Group

Generative AI Events

It can be hard to know where to start in learning more about generative AI. There are so many resources, news articles and publications, and the information changes very quickly. Here we gather some of the most useful information for you to learn more, as well as some of the more topical pieces from the news.

Generative AI in the News

Prof. Simon Buckingham Shun

Daily News  ➚

‘It has become necessary to have conversations about AI’s role within the academic setting’

Generative AI, Teaching & Learning, Teaching Excellence

McMaster's campus on a sunny day