Using the Output of a GenerativeAI Tool
The output of a generative AI tool is a combination of the input you provide to the tool and the information the tool supplies from its data resources and processes. The more you interact with the tool, the greater your personal contribution to the resulting materials. For example, you choose what information to submit and what questions to ask, and you may also provide additional input, make follow-up inquiries, edit, select, or compile the output of the generative AI tool to assemble the final product.
Before using a generative AI tool to prepare materials, consider whether collaborating with the generative AI tool to prepare those materials will interfere with your ability to use the output in the way you plan.
Be honest about your use of generative AI tools in preparing the materials. Do not hide or misrepresent your use of the tool and be prepared to answer questions about how the tool contributed to the materials. If the recipient of the materials is potentially unaware that you used a generative AI tool to create them, you should affirmatively disclose that you used a generative AI tool. For example, if you were asked to provide a writing sample as part of a job application, you should disclose to what extent a generative AI tool produced the end product, as the prospective employer would otherwise assume that you had prepared the materials yourself.
Educate yourself about and follow any specific rules that apply to the preparation of specific materials, including any rules that restrict the use of generative AI tools in preparing information. This could include rules in a classroom syllabus or assignment, or provisions of a grant agreement.
Consider whether you or the university need to own the intellectual property rights of selected materials. Materials prepared using a generative AI tool may not be eligible for intellectual property rights if there is not enough direct human involvement in their development. Not owning intellectual property rights may impact your or the university’s ability to publish, distribute, patent, or use the materials.
Various grant sponsors may have different approaches to the use of generative AI.For example, the NIH prohibits reviewers from using generative AI tools in analyzing and critiquing NIH grant applications and R&D contracts proposals, seeing them as violation of confidentiality requirements.
Understand that the international community may come to different conclusions on your rights with respect to generative AI and intellectual property. The US recently launched an effort to understand the emerging space of generative AI and copyright. The United Kingdom has working groups and anticipate guidance in 2023. Europe is considering broader AI regulation for which intellectual property will be a component.
In the meantime, these questions may help you navigate ownership of intellectual property:
- Which humans are contributing to your work, and what is their contribution?
- What expectations does your team have regarding those contributions?
- What existing agreements or contracts might frame your work?
- Grant stipulations?
- Work for Hire agreements?
- Employee agreements?
- Where are your team members, and what international frameworks might your work fall under?
- Which AI tools are you using, and what are those tools contributing to your work?
- How do your human contributions significantly shape and define the final product?
- Do you have documentation of the design process and the inputs coming from your human teams?