We are seeing a dramatic increase in the abilities of artificial intelligence that is available to the public. Changes in the technologies we use change the way we do scholarship. It's necessary to make sure we aren't causing ourselves unwanted and unintended consequences.
Generative AI is artificial intelligence capable of using an algorithm and a huge database of content to create new content. This may be text, images, audio, video, software code, even knitting patterns. It does this with varying degrees of success, but it is sometimes useful and sometimes hard to distinguish from work created by a person.
In general, use AI when you have approval from your instructor to use AI on an assignment, and are using the AI appropriately in the context of that assignment.