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[B-SIDE Podcast] How AI is reshaping the academic landscape

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Philippine institutions have expressed concerns and optimism regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI), seeing it as both a potential challenge and an opportunity, according to plagiarism checker Turnitin.

In this B-Side episode, Jack Brazel, regional director and spokesperson at Turnitin Southeast Asia, speaks with reporter Miguel Hanz L. Antivola about the current state of AI in Philippine academia.


Philippine institutions are concerned about AI, but they also see it as an opportunity. 

“I don’t know any Filipino institution that has tried to ban ChatGPT. They are looking at ways on how we enhance the technology, how we make sure that students are ready for it,” he said. 

“But at the same time, they’re asking, ‘How do we protect the integrity of our [students’] course work?’” he added. 

Mr. Brazel also noted that educational institutions worldwide are eager to find out if students’ use of AI tools has affected their learning process.

AI should exist to enhance people’s lives. 

“But not replace the instructor, not do anything terrible like that,” Mr. Brazel said.

A crucial point for the global education sector is to prepare students undergo the challenges they are bound to face, he noted. 

Mr. Brazel likened AI to the autopilot mechanism for pilots. “Say a pilot… Even though they’ve got autopilot, we still need them to be well-trained, qualified, ready to go, ready to handle any sort of crisis,” he said.

“But of course, if they’re up there cruising in the peaceful skies using autopilot, there’s no problem to that.”

The priority is always the development of students’ skills.

“Filipino institutions are asking the questions: Are we developing our students the right way? Are we developing that skillset of writing? Are we able to produce an argument and articulate ourselves clearly?” Mr. Brazel said. 

The local education sector should prioritize producing graduates capable of making a positive impact on society and performing critical tasks independently, without excessive reliance on AI, he noted.

He also said that institutions worldwide will need to adapt to the presence of AI by redesigning assessments and clearly defining their expectations for students.

“AI is just there to—let’s call it—fuel better learning and better outcomes to students.”

Mr. Brazel noted that AI is here to stay, and Filipinos must maintain an inquisitive approach to working alongside it. 

“Students should be saying, ‘How do I become a better student?’ ‘How do I get ready for the real world?’” he said.

“Instructors should be saying, ‘How do I use AI to speed up my marking process and get feedback back to the students quicker?’”

“Greater society should be saying, ‘Hey, AI is going to be a part of society… but we can sort of get unproductive tasks done quickly and effectively.’” 

The education sector should prioritize real-world skills and producing graduates prepared for the challenges they will face, while acknowledging the persistent concerns surrounding academic integrity, Mr. Brazel said.

Recorded on May 11, 2023.

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