The Intersection of Critical Thinking Skills and AI: Benefits, Pitfalls, and Setting the Scene

Sponsored by Sage

Recorded on 11/08/2023
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 359

Since ChatGPT’s launch last November, artificial intelligence has transformed from the stuff of science fiction to an everyday occurrence in higher education and scholarly communication. In this four-part series, 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, explore the intersection of critical thinking skills and AI. Parsing through both helpful use-cases and cautionary tales, they review current governance and policy on AI, institutional practices moving forward, and the development of working groups to better understand and unlock AI’s potential applications. Tom, Leo, and Katie bring their unique perspectives to generative AI’s impact on the scholarly environment in the past year and how teaching and learning institutions are responding to these changes.

In the first episode of this four-part series, our guests dive into the crux of the issue: the benefits and pitfalls of critical thinking and generative AI. They discuss the collaborative element of critical thinking, and how that characteristic can guide users’ approach to AI by building thoughtful prompts and checking (seemingly) authoritative sources. Further, Leo chats about the significant flaws in current generative AI, such as data privacy, bias, copyright issues, and overall obfuscation of how these tools are created. Last, the guests reflect on the lack of consensus over whether AI helps or hinders critical thinking. Surfacing the emotional aspect of using AI, they highlight the excitement, wonder, and fear that these tools inspire in both students and faculty.

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.

Enjoy the conversation? Listen to the rest of the series:

Resources mentioned in the episode:

Check out our previous series with Sage:
– Building Skills for Student Success
Understanding the Undergraduate Workflow
– Spotlighting Academic Library Innovation
– The Myth of the COVID-Transformed Workplace
– Preparing Diverse Students for Success in the Academic and Private Sectors

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