The present perfect continuous is a verb tense used to refer to an action that started sometime in the past and is still ongoing. It also sometimes describes an action that was just completed, as long as it’s still relevant to the present (e.g., “I’ve been working hard all day, and now I’m getting some rest”).
The present perfect continuous consists of “have been” or “has been” (depending on the subject) followed by the present participle (“-ing” form) of the main verb.
The present continuous (also called the present progressive) is a verb tense used to refer to a temporary action that is currently taking place. It can also describe future plans (e.g., “I am throwing a party next week”).
Generative AI is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems to generate original media such as text, images, video, or audio in response to prompts from users. Popular generative AI applications include ChatGPT, Bard, DALL-E, and Midjourney.
Most generative AI is powered by deep learning technologies such as large language models (LLMs). These are models trained on a vast quantity of data (e.g., text) to recognise patterns so that they can produce appropriate responses to the user’s prompts.
This technology has seen rapid growth in sophistication and popularity in recent years, especially since the release of ChatGPT in November 2022. The ability to generate content on demand has major implications in a wide variety of contexts, such as academia and creative industries.
Just checking in is a standard phrase used to start an email (or other message). It’s used to follow up on a previous message or conversation and ask for an update on a previously discussed or ongoing project. It’s meant to convey a friendly, no-pressure tone but encourage the reader to respond.
However, we recommend avoiding this phrasing, since it’s so overused and can come across as passive-aggressive. In follow-up emails, it’s important to incentivise the addressee to reply without coming across as pushy or disingenuous.
What should you write instead? We suggest a few good alternatives below.
Yours truly is a standard sign-off that you can write before your name to end an email or letter. It combines the possessive pronoun “yours” with the adverb “truly” (be careful not to misspell it as “truely“) to express a sense of honesty toward the person you’re addressing.
It’s typically used in relatively informal correspondence. The more formal alternative is “Yours faithfully”, used in a formal letter or email to someone with whom you have not interacted before. “Yours sincerely” is used instead when writing formally to someone you’ve corresponded with before.
To Whom It May Concern is a formal greeting that can be used to start an email or letter addressed to someone whose name you don’t know or to no one in particular. It’s still used, but it’s considered somewhat old-fashioned and impersonal. There are better options in most contexts.
Using this salutation can suggest to the recipient that you’re sending out a mass email to many different people or that you couldn’t be bothered to learn anything about the person to whom you’re writing.
Even if you don’t know the name of the person you’re writing to, it’s usually best to either find out or use a job title or department name to make your salutation more personal.
ChatGPT, the popular generative AI writing tool, is constantly in the news these days. You might be wondering what all the hype is about and what exactly it can (and can’t) do.
The novelty of ChatGPT, and the reason it’s big news in the AI world and beyond, is its ability to generate unique, fluent, and largely accurate responses to pretty much any question or prompt.
Rather than being designed for one narrow task, ChatGPT is a generalist: it excels at a wide variety of activities, from coding to writing. Below, we explore 10 surprising things ChatGPT can do – and a few that it struggles with (so far).
Educators are in the process of working out how to respond to AI writing tools like ChatGPT, and many students (and instructors) are unsure exactly what is allowed right now.
Our research into the current guidelines of the top 100 universities in the UK indicates that most don’t have definitive guidelines yet and that individual instructors normally decide what’s allowed in their courses for now. Specifically, we found five responses to AI writing tools from universities:
At 61% of universities, there seem to be no clear guidance or policy so far.
At 8% of universities, the tools are banned outright.
At 9% of universities, the tools are banned by default unless instructors say otherwise.
At 10% of universities, individual instructors decide their own policy for now.
At 12% of universities, the tools are allowed (with citation) unless instructors prohibit them.
A summary generator (also called a summariser, summarising tool, or text summariser) is a kind of AI writing tool that automatically generates a short summary of a text. Many tools like this are available online, but what are the best options out there?
To find out, we tested 11 popular summary generators (all available free online, some with a premium version). We used two texts: a short news article and a longer academic journal article. We evaluated tools based on the clarity, accuracy, and concision of the summaries produced.
Our research indicates that the best summariser available right now is the one offered by QuillBot. You can use it for free to summarise texts of up to 1,200 words – up to 6,000 with a premium subscription.