Generative AI Use in Research | UK ADVANCE Recommendations

The public release of generative artificial intelligence (generative AI) tools represents a significant moment for the University of Kentucky’s research and scholarly enterprise. Since late 2022, the capabilities of generative AI have proliferated and advanced at a rapid pace. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are established methods for use in research, but generative AI is novel in that it produces content—text, code, image, sound, video—based on user input and dialogue and presents additional questions.

Emerging research has explored the potential for innovation and efficiency that generative AI presents. UK has foundational research strengths across many disciplines that use and benefit from AI, machine learning and deep learning. UK has seen significant growth in AI-related grants, with many more opportunities for securing expanded research funding in AI across nearly every federal agency and through philanthropic avenues. With a comprehensive AI strategy, we can focus our strengths to fully embrace and utilize AI technology to advance our mission not only to facilitate learning and expand knowledge, but also to serve our global community better by discovering, disseminating, sharing, and applying knowledge. We aim to accelerate our transdisciplinary research agendas, educate our research faculty and staff on state-of-the-art AI platforms, and address the needs of our corporate partners and citizens of the Commonwealth who rely on our university for AI-related training.

At the same time, there are documented concerns that bear significant implications for research and scholarly activity such as the accuracy or bias of generated information and issues around authorship, transparency, and intellectual property rights such as copyright and data privacy. The University of Kentucky promotes and expects a culture of research integrity and responsible and ethical conduct of research. Research integrity depends on the reliability and trustworthiness of research. Responsible conduct of research and scholarly activity (RCR) is founded on core values such as honesty, accuracy, efficiency, and impartiality. The availability of generative AI tools has the potential of advancing and enhancing research and scholarly work when used responsibly. These recommendations are offered for all faculty, staff and trainees (visiting scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduates, etc.) who participate in research as well as scholarly or creative work.

Following an initial review of emerging U.S. federal agency rules and guidelines from professional organizations and journals, among other sources, regarding the use of generative AI tools in research, UK ADVANCE offered guidance in response to frequently asked questions from the UK research community. Learn more