Brock explores future of AI with advisory group, academic integrity study

With the future impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in educational settings still unknown, Brock experts are gathering critical data to help navigate the new technological landscape while also providing valuable insight for post-secondary institutions.

Rahul Kumar and Michael Mindzak, researchers with AI expertise and Assistant Professors in the Department of Educational Studies, are representing Brock in the Canada-wide Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity Study (AIAI Study), which builds on a previous AI pilot study the pair completed in spring 2022.

Interdisciplinary in approach, the current study aims to answer key questions about the future of AI and text-based tools.

“We want to know what is currently happening with this technology, and what it means for Brock and other universities; where should we be directing resources and how can we collectively respond to the effects?” Mindzak said.

Led by University of Calgary, with partner institutions including Brock, Toronto Metropolitan University and University of Saskatchewan, the AIAI Study aims to gain a deeper understanding of the power of AI based on empirical evidence.

According to Kumar, it’s the high-quality data that sets this study apart.

“While many articles and opinion pieces have been published since the launch of ChatGPT, either advocating or condemning, or somewhere in between, the poles of the use of GenAI in various facets of our lives, our study contributes an empirical base to the discourse,” he said.

Their research will also contribute to Brock’s approach to AI through the recent formation of the Advisory Group on Artificial Intelligence, comprised of Brock faculty, staff and librarians with scholarly and relevant experience in the field, including Mindzak and Kumar.

The group is advising the Provost and Vice-President, Academic on matters related to the impact of artificial intelligence on a range of academic activities including teaching, learning and scholarship.

Rajiv Jhangiani, Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning, said that Brock is fortunate to enjoy significant faculty expertise in AI.

“The Provost’s advisory group draws on this cross-disciplinary expertise to help inform operational decision-making on a range of academic activities,” he said. “This includes better understanding the implications and opportunities of AI as they relate to teaching and learning practices.”

The AIAI Study is currently inviting participants to complete an online survey that takes about 10 minutes. The survey provides text passages and asks users if they think they were authored by AI or a human.

The results of Kumar and Mindzak’s pilot study, in combination with the AIAI Study, will provide valuable insight to Canadian post-secondary institutions in assessing next steps in the AI conversation as it relates educational environments.

All are invited to take the survey online via Qualtrics Survey, which is now open until Dec. 31.

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