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Op/ed: AI Has Potential to Solve Grand Challenges

Pines Says Higher Ed Institutions Should Consider the Technology’s Upsides Along With Risks

By Darryll J. Pines

exterior of Thomas V. Miller, Jr. Administration Building

Although stunning advances in artificial intelligence are giving pause to many observers, institutions of higher learning have the ability to integrate the new technology into instruction and research, using it to help solve societal problems, UMD President Darryll J. Pines wrote in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

Every new generation of students is confronted with the advance of technology—from slide rules to calculators, typewriters to laptops, rotary phones to iPhones. In an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education, University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines writes that angst over how such progress could disrupt learning and teaching is hardly a new thing.

Despite uncertainty over the latest mind-bending innovation—artificial intelligence so advanced it can be hard to differentiate from human intelligence—academia retains its ability adapt to new technology and put it to use in solving the major problems facing society, Pines wrote in the essay published alongside 11 other takes on AI from scholars and university administrators.

When I began putting together my “State of the Campus” presentation to the University Senate in late February, I workshopped the introduction with not only staff members in the president’s office and our Office of Marketing and Communications, but also with one of the newest arrivals to higher education: ChatGPT.

I didn’t do this as a PR stunt, or to demonstrate how new artificial-intelligence systems will uproot and replace traditional learning—or university faculty and staff. I did it to show that ChatGPT, and whatever comes to compete with it or take it to the next level, is not something we need to fear.

Read the rest in The Chronicle of Higher Education.



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