Reshaping Academic Applications: The Multifaceted Impact of Generative AI/ChatGPT for Growth
Zoë Abbie Teel
In recent months, I have been actively involved in several research projects that examine how ChatGPT may impact society, especially institutions of higher education. Additionally, I have encountered many papers that appear directly relevant to informing the information professional as to how to grow in using emerging technologies like ChatGPT. In this post, I would like to discuss some of the key findings of those projects and their relevance to information professionals while also placing them within the context of professional growth. New, paradigm-changing technologies like ChatGPT provide us with a good opportunity to consider our professional identity and how we can grow as professionals.
As highlighted by Lund et al. (2023), ChatGPT has emerged as a versatile tool with the potential to significantly enhance the landscape of research and scholarship within academia. This transformative technology offers a wide array of applications, ranging from aiding in literature reviews and generating textual content to facilitating data analysis, language translation, and automated summarization. These advancements, as outlined by my coauthors and myself in Wang et al. (2023), also extend their impact to the realm of higher education, where generative AI, including chatbots like ChatGPT, holds the potential to influence and enrich the experiences of students. In my paper (Teel et al., 2023), my coauthors and I shed light on a crucial dimension of the evolving academic discourse: the role of ChatGPT in sparking new debates around plagiarism within higher education. This technology’s capability to generate text has led to discussions about its ethical implications and the challenges it poses in maintaining academic integrity.
—Generative AI (like ChatGPT) is a vital tool that professionals, within all fields, should learn how to use.—
When considering the collective implications of these developments, it becomes evident that Generative AI, exemplified by ChatGPT, is ushering in a multifaceted transformation within academia (Teel, 2023). This transformation is characterized by its ability to revolutionize traditional practices (especially within academia). Various concerns encompassing different forms of AI, as described by Biswas (2023), revolve around the question, “Will ChatGPT replace my job?” This concern holds substantial validity. However, as my coauthors and I discuss in a forthcoming paper (Mannuru et al., 2023), it becomes important to acknowledge that ChatGPT might not only alter the job landscape but also potentially reshape the application procedure or even serve as a helpful tool within it. Thus, given the expansive influence of generative AI in the academic landscape, it could be relevant to contemplate its potential impact on the job application, or even school application, process within academia.
In exploring the intersection of higher education and professional growth, the potential applications of ChatGPT, and thus Conversational AI, have been investigated by Atlas (2023). It can serve as a writing collaborator, aiding in word generation, as noted in Teel et al. (2023), so long as it is done carefully to avoid issues with plagiarism. It can also function as an intellectual partner, engaging in enriching discussions, drafting reports and functioning as administrative aid (Atlas, 2023).
Building upon the ideas posed by Atlas (2023), Generative AI possesses the capability to draft application materials, but it should not be entirely depended upon. While tools like ChatGPT exhibit potential in composing content, there exists a risk of generating misleading or entirely fabricated information concerning one’s experience, thus compromising accuracy and authenticity. Nonetheless, these tools can play a constructive role by aiding in crafting well-structured outlines for Curriculum Vitae (CVs), assisting in proofreading and enhancing cover letters, and supporting various aspects of the application process.
In addition to its use in application materials, Generative AI finds application in various other aspects of academia. One notable example is its role in crafting thorough and captivating research proposals (Dwivedi et al., 2023). This potential proves especially advantageous for Ph.D. candidates who are mulling over dissertation concepts, as well as faculty members seeking to focus their investigations in specific research domains.
Generative AI holds the intriguing possibility of simulating academic interviews. While it does not necessarily need to be a direct replacement for real human interactions, my colleagues and I believe that these simulations could offer valuable practice opportunities for candidates (Mannuru et al., 2023). It could help refine components of interviews like their responses, presentation skills, and overall interview performance.
However, it is crucial to exercise caution and discernment in the integration of Generative AI [ChatGPT] in academia (Lund, et al.). Over-reliance on AI-generated content poses risks of misrepresentation and undermines the integrity of the application process. A balanced approach, where AI tools are utilized to enhance and streamline certain aspects of the process while respecting the authenticity and human judgment required in academia. The promotion of authenticity and human discernment is paramount for both applicants and those overseeing the selection or acceptance procedures (Atlas, 2023).
It, furthermore, presents a potential avenue for assisting in drafting application materials and other academic tasks (Rudolph et al., 2023). While it may not be suitable for complete reliance due to the risk of inaccuracies, its application can be judiciously leveraged to contribute to organized CVs, improved cover letters, refined research proposals, and even simulated academic interviews. The key lies in understanding the limitations, ethical considerations, and potential benefits that Generative AI offers in reshaping various dimensions of academia. Generative AI (like ChatGPT) is a vital tool that professionals, within all fields, should learn how to use.
The insights gathered from the study of ChatGPT’s impact on academia and higher education hold major value for personal and professional growth of information professionals. As professionals navigating the evolving landscape of information and technology, understanding the potential of emerging tools like ChatGPT becomes imperative. The awareness of its applications, from aiding in research endeavors and content generation to influencing student experiences, presents an opportunity for information professionals to expand their skill sets. An understanding of ethical considerations and limitations can help professionals to wield these technologies carefully. By utilizing these insights, information professionals can proactively adapt to the changing demands of their fields, stay at the forefront of technological advancements, and make informed decisions that contribute to their ongoing professional development.
Atlas, S. (2023). ChatGPT for higher education and professional development: A guide to conversational AI.
Biswas, S. (2023). “Will ChatGPT take my Job? Replies and Advice by ChatGPT.” Replies and Advice by ChatGPT.
Dwivedi, Y. K., Kshetri, N., Hughes, L., Slade, E. L., Jeyaraj, A., Kar, A. K., … & Wright, R. (2023). “So what if ChatGPT wrote it?” Multidisciplinary perspectives on opportunities, challenges and implications of generative conversational AI for research, practice and policy. International Journal of Information Management, 71, 102642.
Lund, B. D., & Wang, T. (2023). Chatting about ChatGPT: how may AI and GPT impact academia and libraries?. Library Hi Tech News, 40(3), 26-29.
Mannuru, N. R., Shahriar, S., Teel, Z. A., Wang, T., Lund, B. D., Tijani, S., Pohboon, C., Agbaji, D. A., Alhassan, J., Galley, J., Kousari, R., Oladapo, L., Saurav, S., Srivastava, A., Uppala, S., Vaidya, P. (2023). Artificial intelligence in developing countries: The impact of generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for development. Manuscript under review.
Rudolph, J., Tan, S., & Tan, S. (2023). ChatGPT: Bullshit spewer or the end of traditional assessments in higher education?. Journal of Applied Learning and Teaching, 6(1).
Teel, Z. A., Wang, T., & Lund, B. (2023). ChatGPT conundrums: Probing plagiarism and parroting problems in higher education practices. College & Research Libraries News, 84(6), 205.
Wang, T., Lund, B. D., Marengo, A., Pagano, A., Mannuru, N. R., Teel, Z. A., & Pange, J. (2023). Exploring the Potential Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on International Students in Higher Education: Generative AI, Chatbots, Analytics, and International Student Success. Applied Sciences, 13(11), 6716.
Cite this article in APA as: Teel, Z. A. Reshaping academic applications: The multifaceted impact of generative AI/ChatGPT for growth. (2023, August 10). Information Matters, Vol. 3, Issue 8. https://informationmatters.org/2023/08/reshaping-academic-applications-the-multifaceted-impact-of-generative-ai-chatgpt-for-growth/