The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) is launching an initiative on generative AI to facilitate discussions on how to leverage the new technology to shape the future of higher education amidst booming interests and rising concerns. The project is supported by Microsoft.
Themed “Generative AI in Education: Opportunities, Challenges and Future Directions in Asia and the Pacific”, the new multi-phase project will establish a network of APRU stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges that generative AI will have on higher education, and to identify solutions which address the knowledge gaps with a specific focus on equity and inclusion.
As the first phase of the project, APRU is gathering case studies illustrating the ways that generative AI tools support education delivery, broader student experience and other institutional functions from all 60 member universities. Subsequently, APRU will carry out thematic workshops and establish a platform for sharing insights and data with stakeholders.
The project’s academic lead is Professor Simon Bates, Vice Provost and Associate Vice President, Teaching and Learning at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
The launch is timely, given that generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT and DALL.E2, are now widely available and capable of rapid production of various types of new content, including text and images that can be difficult to distinguish from human-produced content. While these tools offer ample opportunities to enhance learning, they also raise concerns around academic integrity, privacy, bias, and ethics of use.
“Universities are currently grappling with these implications, and medium- and longer-term strategies will require a better shared understanding of these tools: how they work and how to balance risks and benefits,” said APRU Chief Executive Professor Thomas Schneider.
“The new APRU project will attempt to reimagine learning assisted by AI and to ideate potential solutions and tools that can support the APRU universities and their key stakeholders as they navigate the era of generative AI,” he added.
The project is the first of its kind under APRU’s “University of the Future” initiative, a key focus area under the Association’s new holistic approach to strategic planning.
“This project presents a unique opportunity to understand how generative AI is already being deployed in universities and to explore, early on, where challenges lie and ways that educational institutions can respond.” said Mike Yeh, Regional Vice President, Corporate External and Legal Affairs, Microsoft. “Universities are critically important institutions as our societies look to maximize the gains from AI and put guardrails in place to ensure the technology is used responsibly”.
APRU is calling for cases studies from members till November 6, 2023. Please see the requirements and template below: