Boise State students and professors weigh in on the rise of artificial intelligence 

Photo by Niamh Brennan

The integration of artificial intelligence is becoming one of the most polarizing topics in education today. 

As artificial intelligence software programs such as ChatGPT gain traction, Boise State must figure out how artificial intelligence can be intertwined into education for the better. 

Assistant professor of management in the College of Business and Economics, Dr. Steven Hyde, uses generative artificial intelligence such as Chatbot in his lectures, where his students can create flashcards, quizzes and generate cases on concepts related to the material in his classes. 

“It’s really effective, I use it like a tutor or a teaching assistant,” Hyde said. “It can help provide and distill the information for the students and then the students can make it more customizable.”  

Hyde mentioned that he uses artificial intelligence on a consistent basis, whether it’s for teaching, research or “service”.  

“It’s the most useful tool for any knowledge worker,” Hyde said. “The resistance to it is stupid. The professors who aren’t using it, who are scared of it, they’re shooting themselves in the foot because it’s the most useful tool for any knowledge worker.” 

Boise State Center for Teaching and Learning provides weekly workshops for instructors to learn about the use of artificial intelligence. 

With the rapid rise of artificial intelligence, Hyde recommended that students should become familiar with artificial intelligence to prepare them for the workforce after college. 

“I would say it’s academic malpractice to not be forcing our students to use it because they’re going to be forced in the job market,” Hyde said. “I’d say in the next five years, if you do not have competency with AI, I don’t think you’ll be employable for a white collar job.” 

Hyde explained that because of the demand for artificial intelligence in the workplace, he’s had to adjust his teaching requirements for his students. 

“Before generative AI, my whole goal with the students was that they would be able to create a rough draft of whatever we’re doing, because in the workforce, if they’re in a white collar job entry level, largely their job is creating a rough draft that someone above them would edit,” Hyde said. “Now the value of a rough draft is zero, because an AI can create a rough draft instantly in anything. So that means now that I have to force my students to be able to edit like that upper level person.”

Hyde added that colleges will need to accommodate to tools like artificial intelligence similar to the expansion of portable electronic calculators. 

“Now that’s my focus, is how do I ensure that they edit like it because now what was the bar, AI has that bar, and has passed it,” Hyde said. “So now we have to increase our bar ourselves. It just means that we need to adjust college to the tools they have, the same way that mathematics have adjusted.” 

A survey from Forbes magazine shows that 60% of young educators use artificial intelligence in their classrooms. 

Department of Communication Professor Dr. Seth Ashley shared that the possibility of intertwining artificial intelligence in education could be beneficial for brainstorming ideas. 

“I think of it a lot like Wikipedia, it’s a good place to start to get background information on a topic, especially if you’re new to the topic,” Ashley said. “In that sense, I think it can be a great research tool that can help with just finding out about anything and that can certainly help with people’s media literacy.” 

Joseph Kuhn, a senior psychology major, finds artificial intelligence a helpful tool for his hobbies, generating images of art for inspiration and also receiving grammatical feedback when writing about the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons in his free time. 

“[AI is] beneficial as long as you can use it as a tool, not like a crutch for certain things,” Kuhn said. “Having an over reliance on it for your own creative processes is obviously not a good thing.” 

Kuhn also mentioned he uses software called ElevenLabs, which takes voice samples and turns them into models using artificial intelligence. 

Conversely, Brys Greer, a senior majoring in construction management, believes that relying on artificial intelligence to create content can obstruct students’ ability to learn new skills over time. 

“I think it takes away and makes it lazier for individuals,” Greer said. “I think there’s good in having to take the time to learn something or to read something or to write.” 

With artificial intelligence evolving, it’s unclear what final decisions will be made and how it will impact future education.

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