Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that can learn from and mimic large amounts of data to create content such as text, images, music, videos, code, and more, based on inputs or prompts.

The university supports and encourages the responsible and secure exploration of AI tools. When using any of these tools, especially public, open-source, non-protected AI tools, it is vitally important to keep information security and data privacy, compliance, copyright, and academic integrity in mind.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

– Oxford Languages

Large Language Models (LLMs)

A specialized type of artificial intelligence (AI) that has been trained on vast amounts of text to understand existing content and generate original content.

– Gartner

Machine Learning (ML)

The use and development of computer systems that are able to learn and adapt without following explicit instructions, by using algorithms and statistical models to analyze and draw inferences from patterns in data.

– Oxford Languages

Natural-Language Processing (NLP)

Involves the ability to turn text or audio speech into encoded, structured information, based on an appropriate ontology. The structured data may be used simply to classify a document, as in “this report describes a laparoscopic cholecystectomy,” or it may be used to identify findings, procedures, medications, allergies and participants.

– Gartner.


It is the user’s responsibility to protect sensitive data and verify content when using generative AI tools.

Be Mindful Not to Share Sensitive Information

Do not enter confidential or protected data or information, including non-public research data, into publicly available or vendor-enabled AI tools.

Information shared with public AI tools:

  • Is not considered private.
  • May be added to the tool’s knowledge base and provided to other users.
  • Is usually claimed to be the property of the vendor.

These Tools Can be Inaccurate

Each individual is responsible for any content that is produced or published containing AI-generated material.

  • AI tools sometimes “hallucinate,” generating content that can be highly convincing, but inaccurate, misleading, or entirely fabricated.
  • It may contain copyrighted material.
  • All AI-generated content should be reviewed carefully for correctness and cited properly before submission or publication.

Adhere to Current Academic Integrity Policies

Review university, school, and department handbooks and policies.

  • Schools will be developing and updating their policies as we learn more about AI tools.
  • Faculty members should teach and advise students about policies on the permitted uses of AI in classes and on academic work.
  • Students are encouraged to ask their instructors for clarification about these policies.
  • AI may contribute intentional and unintended forms of plagiarism and falsification of data.

Be Alert for AI-Enabled Phishing

AI has made it easier for malicious actors to create sophisticated scams at a far greater scale. Continue to follow security best practices and report suspicious messages via the Phish Report button in Outlook or to

Contact IT When Procuring Generative AI Tools or Adding AI Functionality in Existing Applications

The university is working to ensure that tools procured on behalf of WashU have the appropriate privacy and security protections.

  • If you have procured or are considering procuring AI tools, contact WashU IT at and provide the following:
    • Purpose
    • Data being used
    • The product or service to be used
    • Compliance with the published guidelines
    • Contact information



Citation method is dependent on academic field.

Researchers should check each journal’s specific guidelines and provide proper attribution and transparency in their manuscripts when they use AI in their research (PMID: 36697395). 

Course Assessment and Design

The Center for Teaching and Learning – ChatGPT and AI Composition Tools


If you have AI questions, please contact