Rossier News

Considering the implications of AI for education

As generative artificial intelligence reshapes industries, the USC Rossier community is exploring the opportunities of AI in education while ensuring its ethical and equitable use.

By Pedro A. Noguera, Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean Published on

The rapid development and deployment of generative AI is transforming many fields and sectors of society. We are at a critical moment in history. The innovative products that have been introduced to the market in health care, entertainment, engineering and education have forced skeptics to acknowledge the enormous potential of artificial intelligence to disrupt the way we live, work and learn.

AI will also lead to significant changes in education that we are only beginning to comprehend. Tools like ChatGPT are outpacing our ability to regulate or even fully understand how it will affect core practices related to intellectual property, authorship and attribution. Many have expressed concern, but the proverbial genie is out of the bottle. Some observers warn of disastrous consequences caused by the unfettered development and use of AI, while its advocates herald it as a technology that will yield numerous positive benefits to humanity and the world. There may be truth to both predictions, particularly in education, where AI is already being used to transform teaching and learning.

The implications of AI for education is the subject of this issue of USC Rossier Magazine. Our faculty, students and alumni are working hard to meet the challenge of this moment. They are determined to ensure that AI’s extraordinary potential leverages and advances the power of knowledge and creativity, rather than eroding and undermining the value of education.

USC Rossier has always been at the forefront of utilizing new technologies to innovate and augment education. This moment is no different. Professor Yasemin Copur-Gencturk is engaged in cutting-edge research on how an AI-powered professional development program can reach teachers far and wide to accelerate student performance in math. With the leadership and participation of professors Gale Sinatra and Stephen Aguilar, USC Rossier is playing a critically important role in USC’s new Center for Generative AI and Society. The university has invested $10 million to conduct research and drive the national conversation around the ethical use and implementation of AI technologies. Additionally, Professor Aguilar is working on several projects with the center to understand how students and teachers are using AI. You will read about their work and more in this issue.

I was honored to be selected by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to help create a federal advisory regulatory committee on the use of AI in education. The goal of the committee is to ensure that this disruptive and powerful technology supports teachers, closes learning gaps and helps make it possible to reimagine the future. Our commitment to advancing educational equity and ensuring AI is used to expand access to quality learning opportunities for all will be my foremost concern.

We are clearly in a period of profound change. Our obligation is to use our influence to further our mission and ensure that advances in educational technology contribute to greater equity and expanded learning opportunities throughout the nation and the world.

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