AI and degree devaluation

Universities need to embrace artificial intelligence, instead of seeing it merely as a tool to aid or catch cheats and devalue degrees, says Danny Bielik, president of the Digital Education Council.

Plagiarism is a persistent challenge and AI rapidly increase the volume, ease, and access of this old scourge, says the Council in a new report. It said: “AI tools enable very high-quality academic misconduct, while AI detection tools lack sufficient accuracy and reliability. Rather than investing in AI detection tools that become obsolete almost as quickly as they are implemented, we recommend universities build a Resilient Educational Value Chain.”

However, the Council found that university leaders are more worried about degree devaluation, particularly where the prestige of a degree relies on its exclusivity. As one top-tier university put it: “We give a small number of students a badge and that badge has enormous value because we’re highly selective.” AI has the potential to disrupt this over the medium term by enabling the delivery of high-quality, personalised education, at a scale and at a very low cost!