International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) academics examined the issue of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the higher education context at the ICMS Faculty Day held in early September at the City Campus.
Led by guest speaker Stéphane Marouani*, ICMS faculty explored the “Transformative Power of AI” with particular emphasis on AI and its affordances, its undeniable impact across industries and how AI is transforming the teaching, hospitality and tourism industries.
ICMS as a higher education provider has been cognisant of the impact of AI on learning and teaching, and active in embracing the advantages and safeguarding against the potential pitfalls of tools such as ChatGPT. (Read ICMS Response: Academic Integrity in the Context of Artificial Intelligence).
Adding to the existing ICMS knowledge base and conversation around AI, Marouani led faculty in a discussion around the myths, concerns and risks associated with AI.
By unravelling these intricacies, the aim was for faculty to be empowered with the knowledge needed to understand and harness this transformative technology both creatively and responsibly.
Simply put, AI is the use of a machine to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. The technology is already in everyday use, from smartwatches and smart cars to face recognition technology, Alexa and Siri.
Traditional computation is programmed by humans entering data to gain an output whereas AI starts from the data and then it is passed through a machine learning algorithm that creates a program (or model).
The most well-known AI in use today are Large Language Models (LLMs) such as Chat GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformers) and Google’s Bard.
* The integrity of the data from ChatGPT and other LLM sources is not reliable, particularly when it comes to bias and understanding nuance.
* LLMs are not good at citing sources.
* LLMs have no emotional intelligence so it cannot understand context.
* The current version of ChatGPT is trained only on what is available on the internet from before 2021.
* ChatGPT cannot determine whether data is private or subject to intellectual property protections, making data privacy an issue.
* The issue of whether the use of LLMs is ethical or not is still up for debate.
AI is a relatively new technology so there is a shortage in the amount of people who know how to use it to its maximum potential.
There is also a need to guide machine learning in industry and in workflow domain. For example, if AI is not taught correctly it could develop an inaccurate or biased model.
* AI can be used in a positive way, for example in seeking definitions and explanations of concepts, much like in the traditional student/tutor relationship.
* AI can be a timesaver if used to do straight forward tasks like writing an email from a proforma.
* AI streamlines tasks, promoting critical thinking and creativity vital for business leaders. By handling routine work, it empowers students to concentrate on higher-level thinking and strategy.
If AI is already entrenched and likely to become a fixed asset in the world of higher learning and education – as it is across industries – the challenge is to move away from a traditional, fixed mind set, and towards harnessing and embracing innovations such as AI in a responsible, thoughtful and critical manner.
“How do we redefine what we do in the classroom?” Marouani asked.
“We are on a journey, so a deeper understanding is essential to stay ahead of the AI curve.”
The ICMS academic team is currently working on an Artificial Intelligence in Education Framework to formalise the institutional approach of AI at the institution. This framework aims to equip students with responsible and ethical AI literacy skills for their future workplace.
* Stéphane Marouani is the Managing Director at MathWorks Australia with 28 years of experience in the IT industry. He holds a degree in engineering in computer science and computer vision from the École Polytechnique of Nice Sophia-Antipolis in France, and furthered his academic pursuits by completing postgraduate studies in robotics and artificial intelligence with research conducted at the University of Southern California, USA.