PODCAST: Does AI Mean the End of Critical Thinking?

Grappling with the future of education in the age of AI

This past week, Choice’s award-winning The Authority File podcast aired the first in a four-part series on generative AI in higher ed and librarianship. This first episode tackles the intersection of critical thinking and generative AI. Some in the education field fear that generative AI marks the end of critical thinking. As we previously reported, the UK’s Department of Education put out a policy paper warning against the replacement of “knowledge, expertise and intellectual capability” with technological tools and know-how in schools. The Department emphasizes the continued need for traditional critical thinking skills and faculties. But are generative AI and critical thinking actually opposed to each other? Or do they have to be?

To answer these questions and others, this episode engages a fantastic set of panelists: Dr. Leo Lo, Dean and Professor of the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences at the University of New Mexico; Katie Metzler, Vice President for Books & Social Science Innovation at Sage Publishing; and author and tech philosopher Dr. Tom Chatfield.

Listen in, and subscribe to hear the next parts of this series!

About the guests:

Tom Chatfield headshot

Dr. Tom Chatfield
Author, Tech Philosopher

Dr. Tom Chatfield (@TomChatfield) is a British author and tech philosopher. He’s interested in improving our experiences and understanding of technology. His most recent book is How to Think (SAGE Publishing, 2021).

Tom’s non-fiction books exploring digital culture, including How To Thrive in the Digital Age (Pan Macmillan) and Live This Book! (Penguin), have appeared in over thirty languages. His bestselling critical thinking textbooks and online courses, developed in partnership with SAGE Publishing, are used in schools and universities across the world. He’s also an experienced Chair, Non-Executive Director, advisor and speaker across the private and public sectors.

Tom’s debut novel, This is Gomorrah (Hodder), was published in July 2019. It was a Sunday Times thriller of the month, shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger for thriller of the year, and won France’s 2020 Prix Douglas Kennedy for the year’s best foreign thriller.

Topics he’s written about recently include the ethics of AI, what it means to think welltechnology in deep time and the philosophy of fake news.

Leo S. Lo headshot.

Leo S. Lo, EdD, MLIS, MFA
Dean and Professor, College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences
University of New Mexico

Dr. Leo S. Lo is a respected academic leader with a passion for integrating artificial intelligence in library science and education. As the Dean and Professor of the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences at the University of New Mexico, he guides library operations and university programs. Dr. Lo’s extensive academic background includes a doctorate degree in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania; an MLIS degree from Florida State University; as well as master’s degrees in screenwriting, and survey research.

Dr. Lo is a recognized author and speaker on topics such as library science, leadership, and education. His focus on AI’s role in library services and information literacy initiatives led to his current leadership role in UNM’s AI literacy effort. As the President-Elect of ACRL, Dr. Lo continues to champion the advancement of academic libraries and their critical role in higher education.

Katie Metzler headshot

Katie Metzler
VP of Books and Social Science Innovation
SAGE Publishing

Katie Metzler is Vice President for Books & Social Science Innovation at Sage Publishing. She has led editorial and product management teams to develop new resources and digital products for social scientists. Much of her work has centred on creating resources that enable academic researchers to learn and apply robust research methodology. Katie believes deeply in the power of the social sciences to help us understand and improve society. In addition to her role at Sage, she sits on the board of the Campaign for Social Science, the board for The Conversation UK and the advisory board for SOPs4RI, a large European Commission project on research integrity.

Resources mentioned in the episode:

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