Initial guidance for use of Generative AI tools

Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) is providing this initial guidance to encourage community members to consider factors including information security, data privacy, regulatory and policy compliance, compliance with confidentiality restrictions concerning third party information and data, intellectual property (e.g., copyright and patent), and academic integrity when choosing to use or purchase software that makes use of generative artificial intelligence (AI).

For MIT faculty and instructors: MIT's Chair of the Faculty has recommended the use of these resources on generative AI and teaching provided by the Teaching and Learning Laboratory. This guidance does not address all issues for consideration when using generative AI tools as part of MIT research, nor does this guidance focus on when MIT researchers are creating generative AI tools or publicly releasing datasets/information that could become ingestible data for use by MIT researchers or third parties for training generative AI tools. Please contact for further guidance on research-related applications or development of AI tools.

Consult with IS&T before purchasing or using generative AI tools

IS&T is working closely with the MIT IT Governance Committee, Information Technology Policy Committee and the Office of General Counsel to determine appropriate terms for vendor agreements relating to generative AI.

  • IS&T recommends MIT community members first consider using tools and services which have already been licensed by IS&T for use by the MIT community.
  • Before entering into any license agreements for a new AI tool or service, contact for a consultation on your planned use of AI and an assessment of the tool or service before it is used.
  • If an MIT DLCI is already using a generative AI tool or service, ensure that the tool complies with all Institute policies and Information Protection guidelines. Contact for a consultation or assessment.
  • Do not use generative AI for purposes that may require in-depth risk assessments without contacting Examples include: recruitment and hiring of employees, evaluating student academic performance, making investment decisions, and complaint and dispute resolution.

Protect MIT information and confidential data

As with any use of information technology at MIT, ensure that your use of generative AI tools and services complies with all applicable federal and state laws and orders (including, without limitation, FERPA, HIPAA, Massachusetts Data Protection Standards, export control laws, and Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence), Institute policies (including 10.1 Academic and Research Misconduct, 11.0 Privacy and Disclosure of Personal Information, and 13.0 Information Policies), follows all guidelines outlined on Information Protection, the Institute's Written Information Security Program (WISP), and complies with any additional policies established by your department, lab, center, or institute (DLCI).

Do not enter MIT proprietary information, third party information, or data classified as Medium Risk or High Risk into publicly available generative AI tools or services not subject to an Institute licensing agreement. Examples of such information and data include non-public research results and data, unpublished research papers, confidential information received from third parties (such as research sponsors and collaborators), unpublished invention disclosures and patent applications, Institute financial and human resources information, personally identifiable information (including, for example, student records, medical records), any information subject to legal or regulatory requirements necessitating its proper safeguarding and handling, and any other information not intended to be freely available to the general public, or to the MIT community without access controls.

Ensure accuracy before publishing AI-generated information

Be aware that information generated by AI may be inaccurate, incomplete, misleading, biased, fabricated, or may contain material subject to a third party’s intellectual property ownership. You are responsible for the accuracy of any information you publish, including AI-generated content.

Be transparent about your use of AI tools

You should disclose the use of generative AI tools for all academic, educational, and research-related uses.  Do not publish research results that rely on content generated through the use of a generative AI tool without disclosing the nature of the use of such generative AI tool in producing the content.


IS&T's list of generative AI tools available at MIT

MIT policies in addition to those already referenced above

MIT’s Written Information Security Program

Intellectual Property


Sponsored Research & Proprietary Information of Third Parties


Page updated 4/3/2024