ChatGPT (and other applications of large language models) are changing the way mental work is done. Businesses are boldly exploiting its potential in dozens of innovative ways, from preparing marketing campaigns to analysing content. It is increasingly being used by our students, who are tempted by the ability to generate a synthesized text in a few seconds, and academics are also testing its capabilities in preparing syllabuses or linguistically smoothing out materials. The university must prepare for a revolution in teaching and research.
Peer-reviewed research on the impact of artificial intelligence on education is scarce, and those already published are rapidly becoming outdated. In this rapidly evolving area, therefore, one has to rely much more on one’s own observations, pre-prints, informal experiments, conversations with academics/students and social science theory. However, we cannot passively watch the dynamic changes brought about by AI solutions – we need to start a discussion about the possible applications of this technology, the changes it will bring about in higher education, the risks it brings and the ways to neutralise them. The Polish social sciences are well prepared for this debate – they have already experienced an epochal change in the research environment in the past, from authoritarianism to democracy and from a centrally planned economy to a market economy, and they are familiar with studying new processes and transformations.
- discussed how solutions such as ChatGPT and Bing chat work;
- showed how these tools deal with tests and examinations;
- indicated how they could be used to increase scientific productivity;
- presented the possibilities of using ChatGPT in teaching, research, scientific and administrative work.
The presentation was accompanied by a short discussion, during which, together with the invited guests, we sought answers to the question of whether and how the academy should change to ensure the highest possible quality of research and teaching in a world dominated by dynamic technological progress. AI can be closed or open, accessible to a narrow elite or democratic, creating oligarchy or promoting equality, replacing humans or empowering humans. What we make it is up to us.