LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 9, 2023) — The University of Kentucky has empaneled a broad-based committee to examine – and make recommendations – regarding the implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and tools such as ChatGPT for higher education and beyond.
Led by Provost Robert DiPaola, the UK ADVANCE Committee (Advancing Data utilization for Value in Academia for National and Campuswide Excellence) is composed of representatives from a broad range of disciplines and administrative backgrounds, including computer science; bioinformatics; pharmacy; medicine; philosophy; communication; writing, rhetoric and digital communication; research; law and information technology; and teaching and learning.
“Artificial intelligence has the power to make our work together more efficient and even transformative,” DiPaola said in announcing the committee and its work. “At the same time, it has tremendous potential, if used wrongly or unethically, to cause great harm.”
Specifically, the ADVANCE Committee will meet regularly to review the latest academic literature surrounding AI and tools such as ChatGPT and provide guidance and recommendations to the campus community regarding its usage.
The idea, DiPaola said, is to provide “our president and campus recommendations regarding the responsible use and optimal use of these powerful tools to achieve and enhance the university’s mission in education, research, clinical care and service.”
DiPaola said it is critical to develop partnerships – in a transdisciplinary fashion – with faculty, administrators and students to “co-create solutions that directly address classroom issues, such as personalized learning, adaptive assessments, automated feedback and intelligent tutoring systems.”
Initial goals for the ADVANCE Committee include:
- Providing guidance and recommendations to the campus community regarding the use of AI
- Developing questions and helping launch innovative research
- Developing recommendations around the responsible use of these tools in ways that support the university’s mission
- Identifying and developing a training toolkit to assist faculty in the use of AI in the classroom and other areas
AI already is heralding tremendous changes in academia and the economy, from innovations in farming and the development of therapeutics to customer service and workplace innovations.
At the same time, there are significant concerns over disruption and displacement of the workforce, embedded bias, cybersecurity concerns and the spread of misinformation.
Within academia, there is the potential to create even greater access to personalized and customized learning, expanded student engagement and intelligent tutoring systems and innovative approaches to curricular design. At the same time, there are concerns over the risk of plagiarism and infringements on privacy, and the ability to develop data and information literacies about AI platforms.
“These are the kinds of complex questions and challenges we need help and expertise as an institution wrestling with now and going forward,” DiPaola said. “Together, we hope to push the boundaries of technology, empowering and enhancing what we do best in education, research, service and clinical care for the Commonwealth and beyond. We will help shape a future where AI-driven solutions pave the way for a more inclusive and effective campuswide mission and purpose.”
A special email address – UKADVANCE@uky.edu – has been created to field questions, ideas and recommendations as well as well as provide feedback regarding AI-related efforts underway on campus.
As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.
In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.