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#158 GenAI in Higher Education

on Mon Sep 11 2023 17:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

with Laura Newey, Darren W Pulsipher,

Keywords: #addressingbiasesingenerativeai #preservingauthenticityandindividuality #balancingaiintegrationineducation #lauratorresnewey #criticalthinkingskills #educationaltechnology #highereducation #aiineducation #aibias #diversityandinclusion #authenticvoices #uniqueperspectives #genai #generativeai #embracingdigital #edt158

In this podcast episode, Darren Pulsipher, chief solution architect of public sector at Intel, interviews Laura Torres Newey, a New York Times best-selling author and university professor, about the impact of generative AI in higher education. This episode delves into the challenges and opportunities presented by the integration of generative AI in the classroom, highlighting the need for critical thinking skills, the concerns of bias, and ensuring the preservation of unique voices.

The Rise of Generative AI in Education

In a recent episode of the podcast “Embracing Digital Transformation,” host Darren Pulsipher interviews Laura Torres Newey, a New York Times bestselling author and English professor, about the impact of generative AI in higher education. The discussion revolves around the integration of AI in the classroom, its effects on teaching methods, concerns about bias, and the preservation of unique voices. Laura shares her insights and experiences as an educator, offering valuable perspectives on navigating the evolving landscape of education in the era of artificial intelligence.

The Influence of Generative AI in Education

Generative AI has started to become a notable presence in education, from automated essay grading to providing writing assistance to students. While this technology offers convenience and efficiency, it raises concerns about the potential loss of unique voices. Laura emphasizes the importance of valuing and nurturing students’ individual perspectives and creativity in their writing. Instead of outright banning the use of generative AI, Laura believes in teaching students how to use these tools effectively and harness their potential without compromising their own voices.

The integration of generative AI prompts a shift in the focus of teaching. Rather than solely evaluating the final product, educators should place more emphasis on the learning process. With AI-driven tools like Grammarly available to students, teachers can redirect their attention towards developing critical thinking skills, research abilities, and the discernment to identify reliable sources. By incorporating assignments that involve comparing AI-generated content with traditionally written work, students can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches, fostering a deeper understanding of their writing and refining their critical thinking skills.

The Role of Educators in the Era of AI

Educators have an essential role in preparing students for the ever-evolving technological landscape. Laura emphasizes that adapting to and effectively utilizing generative AI is crucial for educators at all levels of education. With AI becoming increasingly prevalent in the workplace, students who can navigate and leverage this technology will be better equipped for future job opportunities. To ensure students are well-prepared, educators must not only familiarize themselves with AI applications but also teach students how to use AI effectively and ethically.

The shift towards integrating generative AI in education aligns with the U.S. Department of Education’s stance on AI. They acknowledge the potential benefits but emphasize the need for users to remain in control, comparing AI’s role to that of an electric bike, where the technology lessens the burden but the user ultimately retains control. This approach emphasizes the importance of striking a balance between harnessing the benefits of AI and preserving the unique voices and perspectives of students.


The integration of generative AI in education presents both opportunities and challenges. While AI can enhance learning and assist students with their assignments, it is crucial for educators to prioritize critical thinking and address bias concerns to develop well-rounded and independent thinkers. Teachers should embrace AI technology, understanding its applications and teaching students how to navigate and utilize it effectively. By striking a balance between the efficiency of AI-generated content and the preservation of authentic and diverse voices, educators can prepare students for the digital future while ensuring the cultivation of their individuality and creativity.

Podcast Transcript