Canadian University to develop AI policy

The university aims to adopt a balanced approach and recognise the challenges associated with the increased accessibility of generative AI.

Young university students using laptop and studying with books in library - School education concept

The University of Saskatchewan (Canada-based) is in the process of formulating policies concerning the utilisation of AI within education. While there are questions regarding the appropriate role of these tools for students and concerns related to academic integrity, the University of Saskatchewan has not chosen to outright prohibit the use of AI tools on a wide scale. Instead, the university perceives the growing implementation of AI as an educational opportunity. It serves as a moment for reconsidering assessment methods and exploring how systems like ChatGPT can be integrated into coursework while emphasising proper usage.

The university’s board has stipulated that students’ expectations are already delineated in its student code of conduct, and educators are obligated to clearly specify when AI usage is permissible. The university aims to adopt a balanced approach and recognise the challenges associated with the increased accessibility of generative AI.

But not all follow this balanced approach.

In a related development, Chinese authorities have taken a different approach – as they are proposing a significant step to combat academic fraud as the influence of AI grows within the country. A recently proposed revision to the academic degree law could empower institutions to rescind diplomas of students who employ AI tools to compose their dissertations, a practice that has raised concerns about intellectual dishonesty.

Why does it matter?

A considerable number of universities worldwide are currently either in the midst of developing guidelines or contemplating the most effective means of overseeing the implementation of AI within the realm of education. This dilemma raises a complex question: Should AI be prohibited, and if not, how should it be regulated?

What is undeniably apparent is that upholding academic integrity in an era characterised by swiftly advancing technology presents an ongoing challenge. One potential approach, rather than outright banning the utilisation of such programs, is to shift the focus towards assisting academic faculty and students in utilising digital tools as educational aids, harnessing their benefits effectively.

For a deeper understanding of how AI can assist us in reimagining education, delve into the comprehensive analysis by Diplo’s Executive Director, Jovan Kurbalija. This analysis offers practical insights into the integration of AI into educational settings, outlining actionable steps for its implementation in classrooms.

How can ChatGPT help us rethink education?

ChatGPT has triggered panic in academic circles. As students started using AI to write their homework, essays, and theses,  many universities and schools banned using AI for written assignments. Even on a purely technical level, the ban won’t work. AI-generated text can’t be found as easily and reliably as, say, plagiarised text. But, it is not just a technical matter if professors can spot AI text. Read more.