Navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Empowering Information Professionals to Support International Students Using AI Technology
Zoë Abbie Teel, Brady Lund
The landscape of education is undergoing a transformative shift as the Fourth Industrial Revolution ushers in technological advancements that have far-reaching implications to educational and information services. One prominent facet of this transformation is the increasing mobility of international students seeking educational opportunities abroad. As educational institutions strive to accommodate the needs of this diverse demographic of students, information professionals are presented with a unique opportunity to harness the power of AI technology and elevate their role in enhancing the international student experience.
The unique needs of international students, encompassing academic, linguistic, cultural, and social dimensions, call for tailored solutions that cater to their diverse requirements. These students seek prestigious education, global career prospects, and cross-cultural experiences, but they also grapple with challenges such as language barriers and academic adjustments. Information professionals, as vital contributors to the educational ecosystem, must recognize the evolving nature of these needs and actively engage in their professional development to incorporate cutting-edge tools.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has emerged as a transformative force in education and information services, particularly for international students. AI offers a plethora of applications that can enhance the international student experience, ranging from personalized learning experiences and adaptive testing to AI-driven chatbots. As information professionals aspire to provide comprehensive support, integrating AI-powered tools into their repertoire becomes valuable. AI’s ability to provide tailored learning experiences, streamline administrative processes, and enhance communication between students and educators aligns seamlessly with the needs of international students.
—The Fourth Industrial Revolution era underscores the urgency for information professionals to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of a rapidly changing educational landscape.—
However, as information professionals embrace the potential of AI, they must also grapple with ethical considerations associated with these technologies. While AI has the capacity to enhance learning outcomes, promote inclusivity, and simplify processes, it also poses challenges such as academic integrity concerns, potential biases, and cultural sensitivity issues. Information professionals must engage in ongoing discussions about the responsible implementation of AI in education. By navigating these ethical dimensions with vigilance, information professionals can ensure that the technological advancements they embrace align with educational values and goals.
As noted in our 2023 review exploring the potential impact of AI on international students in higher education, there are many considerations for information professionals when negotiating this terrain, such as:
- ChatGPT can greatly enhance the quality of English language communication for non-native speakers. It aids in revealing the brilliance of ideas that might otherwise be obscured by language and grammar challenges. However, often instructors are against students utilizing ChatGPT for course-related material, regardless of whether its purpose is idea generation or simply enhancing written work. Information professionals must be aware of AI policies on a university-wide and possibly department-to-department or instructor-to-instructor basis.
- Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can effectively cater to students’ information needs, using the vocabulary and syntax with which they are comfortable and familiar. However, there are concerns the reliability of information generated by these tools, including instances of “hallucinations.” Information professionals need to understand the constraints of these tools in supplying trustworthy information and should educate students on how to verify the accuracy and reliability of the information they obtain.
- Students might find comfort from the user-friendly nature and the quality of responses produced by AI tools. However, harboring overly optimistic expectations regarding technology’s user-friendliness might not align with the demands of their future careers. It’s crucial for students to cultivate adaptability with diverse technologies and working scenarios. Information professionals can foster skills related to resilience and adaptability when working with tools and/or information that may not align with expectations.
- AI operates with remarkable speed and efficiency compared to the human brain. However, dependence on AI and its algorithmically-based outputs may inadvertently stifle creativity and suppress the very inventiveness that drives progress and innovation. Information professionals can stress the importance of collaborating with technology, treating it as an additional tool rather than a substitute for their efforts in various tasks.
In the realm of evaluating the credibility and trustworthiness of content produced by ChatGPT and comparable Generative AI tools, it is imperative for Information Professionals to always “fact-check” the information produced by these tools. Herein, we propose a comprehensive framework, with a particular focus on enhancing the integrity of information.
Selection of Exemplary Databases: Engaging with reputable databases is an essential step in the process of assessing the reliability of content generated by AI. Consider consulting the following esteemed databases, particularly tailored to cater Information Professionals:
- Academic Search Complete
- ebSCO host
- IGI Global
- Ingenta Connect
- Library Science Database
- Science Direct
- Web of Knowledge
Exploration of Library and Information Science (LIS) Journals: In the pursuit of validating the accuracy of AI-generated information, perusal of Library and Information Science (LIS) Journals proves invaluable. Noteworthy journals within this domain include:
- Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
- Cataloging and Classification Quarterly
- International Information and Library Review
- Journal of Librarianship and Information Science
Holistic Recommendations: To further refine the process of content evaluation, a holistic approach is recommended. It is advised to prioritize the utilization of Google Scholar over conventional Google searches, given its heightened focus on scholarly content. employing meticulous fact-checking procedures is of paramount importance. This entails corroborating data procured from ChatGPT with insights from domain experts or official records.
Having a judicious scrutiny of an author’s credentials can offer significant insights into their qualifications and their standing as a credible information source. This scrutiny contributes to a more informed assessment of the generated content’s authenticity. A diligent evaluation of the publication date is advised as well. Looking at the timeliness of information is crucial to ascertain its relevance and applicability.
The validation of content produced by ChatGPT and similar Generative AI tools necessitates a multifaceted approach rooted in the utilization of databases, scholarly journals, and fact-checking mechanisms. By diligently being aware of resources like this, Information Professionals can confidently navigate the intricate landscape of AI-generated information while upholding the highest standards of accuracy and dependability.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution era underscores the urgency for information professionals to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of a rapidly changing educational landscape. While tools like ChatGPT have a relatively simple and straightforward interface and are intuitive to use, it can be difficult to anticipate where developments in these technologies may head next. By investing in their professional development and harnessing the potential of AI technology, information professionals can provide tailored support that addresses the unique requirements of international students. As the educational ecosystem continues to evolve, information professionals’ commitment to responsible AI integration will determine their effectiveness in supporting international students in this transformative era.
Cite this article in APA as: Teel, Z. A. & Lund, B. Navigating the fourth industrial revolution: Empowering information professionals to support international students using AI technology. (2023, August 10). Information Matters, Vol. 3, Issue 8. https://informationmatters.org/2023/08/navigating-the-fourth-industrial-revolution-empowering-information-professionals-to-support-international-students-using-ai-technology/