Think twice before using ChatGPT for help with homework

abstract: (in publishing) A short summary of a scientific paper, a poster or a scientist’s talk. Abstracts are useful to determine whether delving into the details of the whole scientific paper will yield the information you seek.

academic: Relating to school, classes or things taught by teachers in formal institutes of learning (such as a college).

artificial intelligence: A type of knowledge-based decision-making exhibited by machines or computers. The term also refers to the field of study in which scientists try to create machines or computer software capable of intelligent behavior.

bias: The tendency to hold a particular perspective or preference that favors some thing, some group or some choice. Scientists often “blind” subjects to the details of a test (don’t tell them what it is) so that their biases will not affect the results.

bot: (short for web robot) A computer program designed to appear that its actions come from some human. The goal is to have it interact with people or perform automated tasks such as finding and sharing online information through social-media accounts.

citation: A short list of abbreviated details that can help someone find a published or unpublished piece of work, such as a scientific paper, article or video. In scientific papers, citations usually contain 1) the first initials and last names of the scientists who did the experiments (if there are many authors, only the first one or two may show up, followed by et al — meaning “and others”), 2) the full title of the paper or talk, 3) the name of the scientific journal, book or event in which the information has or will be published (and if it’s long, the journal’s name also may be abbreviated) and 4) the date that the research was or will be published. (An example: E.D. Coffel and R.M. Horton. Climate change and the impact of extreme temperatures on aviation. American Meteorological Society annual meeting, Phoenix, January 8, 2015.)

code: (in computing) To use special language to write or revise a program that makes a computer do something. (n.) Code also refers to each of the particular parts of that programming that instructs a computer’s operations.

colleague: Someone who works with another; a co-worker or team member.

computational: Adjective referring to some process that relies on a computer’s analyses.

development: (in engineering) The growth or change of something from an idea to a prototype.

ethics: (adj. ethical) A code of conduct for how people interact with others and their environment. To be ethical, people should treat others fairly, avoid cheating or dishonesty in any form and avoid taking or using more than their fair share of resources (which means, to avoid greed). Ethical behavior also would not put others at risk without alerting people to the dangers beforehand and having them choose to accept the potential risks. Experts who work in this field are known as ethicists.

feedback: A response or assessment that follows some a particular act or decision. Or a process or combination of processes that propel or exaggerate a change in some direction. For instance, as the cover of Arctic ice disappears with global warming, less of the sun’s warming energy will be reflected back into space. This will serve to increase the rate of Earth’s warming. That warming might trigger some feedback (like sea-ice melting) that fosters additional warming.

focus: (in behavior) To look or concentrate intently on some particular point or thing.

gender: The attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex. Behavior that is compatible with cultural expectations is referred to as being the norm. Behaviors that are incompatible with these expectations are described as non-conforming.

guinea pig: A rodent (Cavia porcellus) often kept as pets or used in research. Colloquial: A person or other animal that is used as an experimental subject.

high school: A designation for grades nine through 12 in the U.S. system of compulsory public education. High-school graduates may apply to colleges for further, advanced education.

host: (v.) The act of providing a home or environment for something. A website, for instance, could host photos, news or other types of information.

intelligence: The ability to collect and apply knowledge and skills.

internet: An electronic communications network. It allows computers anywhere in the world to link into other networks to find information, download files and share data (including pictures).

journal: (in science) A publication in which scientists share their research findings with experts (and sometimes even the public). Some journals publish papers from all fields of science, technology, engineering and math, while others are specific to a single subject.

machine learning: A technique in computer science that allows computers to learn from examples or experience. Machine learning is the basis of some forms of artificial intelligence (AI). For instance, a machine-learning system might compare X-rays of lung tissue in people with cancer and then compare these to whether and how long a patient survived after being given a particular treatment. In the future, that AI system might be able to look at a new patient’s lung scans and predict how well they will respond to a treatment.

mammal: A warm-blooded animal distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, the secretion of milk by females for feeding their young, and (typically) the bearing of live young.

marine mammal: Any of many types of mammals that spend most of its life in the ocean environment. These include whales and dolphins, walruses and sea lions, seals and sea otters, manatees and dugongs — even polar bears.

medieval: An adjective referring to the historical period known as the European Middle Ages. It roughly spanned from A.D. 500 to about 1500.

model: A simulation of a real-world event (usually using a computer) that has been developed to predict one or more likely outcomes. Or an individual that is meant to display how something would work in or look on others.

network: A group of interconnected people or things. (v.) The act of connecting with other people who work in a given area or do similar thing (such as artists, business leaders or medical-support groups), often by going to gatherings where such people would be expected, and then chatting them up. (n. networking)

physics: The scientific study of the nature and properties of matter and energy. Classical physics is an explanation of the nature and properties of matter and energy that relies on descriptions such as Newton’s laws of motion. Quantum physics, a field of study that emerged later, is a more accurate way of explaining the motions and behavior of matter. A scientist who works in such areas is known as a physicist.

podcast: A digital audio or video series that can be downloaded from the Internet to your computer or smartphone. Some podcasts also are shows that are broadcast on radio, television or other media.

reinforcement learning: An approach to teaching in which an animal or a person learns to perform a specific task to achieve a desired reward.

robot: A machine that can sense its environment, process information and respond with specific actions. Some robots can act without any human input, while others are guided by a human.

technology: The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry — or the devices, processes and systems that result from those efforts.

Twitter: An online social network that allows users to post messages containing no more than 280 characters. (Until November 2017, the limit had been just 140 characters.)

verify: (n. verification) To demonstrate or confirm in some way that a particular claim or suspicion is true.

watermark: A subtle image imprinted on paper, usually visible only when held in a particular direction or up against light. This centuries-old technology helps establish a document as genuine to thwart counterfeiting. In the 1990s, new “digital watermarks” emerged that superimpose a light image on top of a document or photo (or sound on top of an audio file) to identify the creator.