The advancement of AI technologies (artificial intelligence), such as ChatGPT, should make a strong impact on colleges in a short time. For Celso Niskier, president of Abmes, an association that represents private higher education institutions, universities will have to deal with repercussions and changes in a three-year horizon.
Niskier stressed that the challenge for the university sector will be broad and in all areas, not just in the specific study of AI. “I believe that in the next three years we will have to answer [a essa nova realidade, como] the question of ethics, of evaluation, of selection processes”.
Nos USAfor example, universities are already being urged to protect themselves against use of artificial intelligence in newsrooms. Debate is also raging in Brazil about how to deal with ethical issues in education and how to make the best use of technology in the classroom.
“All curricula will have to be rethought. What is it like to be a professional in an area with a tool as powerful as this one? Nobody knows yet”, he evaluates.
According to him, it is not possible to think that this repercussion will take a decade, for example. “This is going to be the ‘gold rush’ for universities in the coming years”, says Niskier, referring to an expression that has been used recurrently in the United States in the debate on implications of AI in the university environment.
Also dean of UniCarioca, in Rio, Niskier opened this Wednesday (24) the Brazilian Congress of Private Higher Education with a speech in which he addressed topics such as innovation and inclusion in the sector. The text, he revealed, was made with the help of ChatGPT.
“I made a prompt: prepare a speech of such size from the point of view of an educator president of the [Abmes] Brazilian Association of Higher Education Supporters defending a stronger education, with the keywords quality, innovation, diversity and inclusion. I made a common sense filter afterwards, but 80% were there”, he said on Thursday (25).
Around 550 deans and directors of private education institutions from all over the country will participate in the event this week, in Alexânia, Goias.
“A lot of people came to congratulate me and I thought, do I speak or not speak? It seemed like the way I speak”, he joked, who revealed to the participants the use of technology.
Abmes will create a working group to deal with the issue with the institutions. Almost 80% of higher education students in Brazil are in private colleges.
The spread of AI occurs at the same time that the private university system is questioned by the strong use of technology, with the increase in distance education courses and enrollments. Results of quality and completion rates are worse in non-face-to-face graduations, which have become a bet for market expansion.
Niskier says he hopes the role of the teacher can gain importance. “Human contact must be revalued,” he said. He reported having identified, in the post-pandemic, pressure from students within face-to-face courses to reduce online activities.
The Minister of Education, Camilo Santana, was expected at the event, but canceled at short notice. In a video participation, she highlighted the concern of the MEC (Ministry of Education) with teacher training courses.
The president of inep (National Institute of Educational Studies and Research), Manuel Palácios, was part of the opening panel and said that the MEC body is planning a new format for evaluating degree courses, with the expansion of the scope.
“We want to take advantage of the 2024 cycle that evaluates undergraduate degrees to introduce new instruments, produce more information and advance into territories that until now have not been the object of observation, such as supervised internships and teaching practice”, said Palácios.
The reporter traveled at the invitation of the Brazilian Congress of Private Higher Education