Worried about the AI revolution and how it’ll impact education?

faux computer chipset with a CPU shaped like a brain embedded in the middle

Yeah, we are, too.

But history has shown that technological revolutions have had a profound impact, bringing about significant improvements in our quality of life, no? While not insignificant challenges and adjustments along the way are inevitable, the AI revolution has the potential to be a force for good and is best approached with an open and optimistic mindset rather than fear.

Ethan Mollick, associate professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he studies and teaches innovation and entrepreneurship,  and Lilach Mollick, director of pedagogy at Wharton Interactive, recently wrote an insightful piece that could change your perspective on the use of AI in academia. They acknowledge the concerns of cheating, but argue that focusing on problems distracts from the opportunities that AI can provide.

Rather than banning AI tools, incorporating them into the classroom is a worthwhile endeavor. As AI becomes more and more prevalent, students must learn to use these tools effectively to be competitive in the workforce.

As such, educators must themselves become familiar with AI tools like ChatGPT and OpenAI Playground and experiment with these systems to understand their capabilities and limitations. By doing so, we can work with students to properly use these tools and develop the skills needed to succeed in a world that appears to be increasingly reliant on AI.

The Mollicks offer guidance on how to create a clear policy outlining when and how to use AI. This policy should includes transparent expectations, proper citation of AI-generated work, warnings about the technology’s tendency towards deception (false information), and ethical considerations. It is a comprehensive resource for educators who are interested in incorporating AI into their curriculum.

Ethan and Lilach also posit that using AI tools can help level the playing field for students who struggle with writing or have language barriers. By producing error-free writing, AI can help improve student performance and encourage them to think more deeply about the material.

However, producing meaningful and insightful content through AI requires both topic expertise and skill. Therefore, instructors should encourage learners to practice with AI tools and credit AI for their work while providing the prompts they used to generate the content.

Read the full article, “Why All Our Classes Suddenly Became AI Classes: Strategies for Teaching and Learning in a ChatGPT World“.