From admissions to teaching to grading, AI is infiltrating higher education

From admissions to teaching to grading, AI is infiltrating higher education

Students newly accepted by colleges and universities this spring are being deluged by emails and texts in the hope that they will put down their deposits and enroll. If they have questions about deadlines, financial aid and even where to eat on campus, they can get instant answers. The messages are friendly and informative. But many of them aren’t from humans. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is being used to shoot off these seemingly personal appeals and deliver pre-written information through chatbots and text personas meant to mimic human banter. It can help a university or college by boosting early deposit rates while cutting down on expensive and time-consuming calls to stretched admissions staffs. AI has long been quietly embedding itself into higher education in ways like these, often to save money — a need that’s been heightened by pandemic-related budget squeezes. Now, simple AI-driven tools like these chatbots, plagiarism-detecting software and apps to check spelling and grammar are being joined by new, more powerful – and controversial – applications that answer academic questions, grade assignments, recommend classes and even teach. The newest can evaluate and score applicants’ personality traits and perceived motivation, and colleges increasing are using these tools to make admissions and financial aid decisions. As the presence of this technology on campus grows, so do concerns about it. In at least one case, a seemingly promising use of AI in admissions decisions was halted because, by using algorithms to score applicants based on historical precedence, it perpetuated […]

Read the rest of the article at hechingerreport.org

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