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Referencing style - Chicago: Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)

A guide to using the Chicago citation referencing style for footnotes and reference lists.

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)

You will need to confirm with your Unit Coordinator whether you are permitted to use Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) such as ChatGPT in your assessments. If it is used ALL the content that is generated must be referenced.


The Chicago Manual of Style recommends referencing Artificial Intelligence (AI) as outlined below. 


Material Type In- Text Citation Reference List

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

(e.g. ChatGPT)


(ChatGPT, July 6, 2023) generated by the generative AI program (ChatGPT, July 6, 2023).

According to OpenAI (2023) ChatGPT states that the relationship between language and psychology...


*If you've edited the AI-generated text, you should say so in the text. 

*AIs are generally not cited in a bibliography or reference list. 

Though AIs assign URLs to conversations generated from your prompts, those can't be used by others to access the same content (they require your login credentials), making an AI conversation like other personal communication.  (See Chicago Manual of style 14.214 and 15.53). 

Please note: The information in this guide is subject to change as guidance on referencing AI tools continues to evolve.

See the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition for more information on citing Computer Software.


Here are some guidelines for referencing AI generated images using Chicago author date referencing style:

AI generated image - attribution required

To include an image in your work, that you have created using an AI tool, you need to provide an acknowledgment. You need to add a figure number and a brief description under the image.  This needs to include the prompt you used to create the image. 

You don't need to provide an end-text reference for an image you produced with an AI tool. 


Figure 1. Image generated using Copilot Designer in response to the prompt Create an image that encapsulates how to find the best evidence in a Library. Do not include any people in the image. 

Copied AI generated image from a published source - attribution required

If you would like to use an AI generated image, that has come from a published source, then you will need to ensure that an acknowledgment is included. You need to include a figure number and a brief description under the image. 

You will also need to provide an end-text reference, for the image you want to use, that comes from a published source. For this image, the end-text reference would be:

Attard, Monica., Michael Davis, and Lisa Main. 2023. "Gen AI and journalism." Centre for Media Transition, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.



Figure 1:  Rosa Alice, 2023. Artwork created using Adobe Firefly, in Monica Attard, Michael Davis and Lisa Main, "Gen AI and Journalism",


Please note: We wish to advise that the advice on referencing AI art is "interim guidance". There is currently no specific rule for referencing AI art in accordance with Chicago referencing and the information provided is not officially part of the Chicago Manual of Style. The information provided is subject to change, as guidance on referencing AI art continues to evolve. 


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