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AI Tools and Best Practices: Intro to AI / AI Tools

An evolving collection of tools and best practices for AI.

Intro to AI

While artificial intelligence has been studied and used for decades, it has seen unprecedented interest in recent years thanks to tools like ChatGPT. How can AI benefit you in your studies? What potential pitfalls does it pose? This guide is an evolving framework for the Penn community.

Branches of AI

Though generative AI programs like ChatGPT and DALL-E receive lots of media coverage, there are many other subfields of AI including:

  • Cognitive computing
  • Computer vision
    • Computer vision is a field of AI in which computers derive meaningful information from digital images, videos and other visual inputs (see this article from IBM)
  • Machine learning
    • Machine learning is the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior (see this article from MIT)
  • Neural networks
    • A neural network is a series of algorithms that teach computers to recognize underlying relationships in data sets and process the data in a way that imitates the human brain (see this article from Caltech)
  • Deep learning
    • A subfield of machine learning in which computers learn to recognize complex patterns and produce accurate insights and predictions (see this article from Amazon AWS)
  • Natural language processing
    • Natural language processing (NLP) is a branch of AI that enables computers to comprehend, generate, and manipulate human language (see this article from Oracle)

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Notable AI Tools

Conversational chatbots

Research tools

Image generation

Video generation

  • Runway (text-to-video, image-to-image, etc.)
  • Synthesia (text-to-video)
  • Opus (video clipping)


Coding/Software development

Computer Science & Engineering Librarian

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Stephen Hall


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Jajwalya Karajgikar
Subjects: Statistics
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