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Getting involved in the AI Garage

27 Sep 2023 | Dr Charles Knight Dr Charles Knight, Associate Director for Knowledge and Innovation at Advance HE, introduces the ‘AI Garage’ a new Member Benefit project for 2023-24 which is designed to capture cutting-edge practice around the use of Generative AI in higher education.

Are you interested in Generative AI and its applications in Higher Education beyond assessment? Do you want to find out about cutting-edge practice and share your own experiences?

If so, you are invited to join the AI Garage, a new Advance HE Member Benefit project that aims to showcase the innovative and diverse ways that Generative AI is being used in higher education.

A few important things happened in 1976, I was born, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak co-created Apple and it’s argued by many that it was the year that Punk rock hit the mainstream with the Sex Pistols and others coming to the fore.

The punk movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s was not only a musical genre, but also a cultural phenomenon that challenged the mainstream norms and values. Punk artists and fans experimented with different styles, sounds, and ideologies, creating a diverse and creative scene that influenced many aspects of art, fashion, and politics.

I would argue that at this point in time, we are seeing a similar ‘punk scene’ emerge around the use of Generative AI in higher education and society more broadly. It is a powerful tool that can create new content, such as text, images, music, and code, based on existing data and models. It has many potential benefits for Higher Education, such as enhancing assessment integrity, improving employability skills, streamlining back-office processes, and enriching graduate outcomes. However, it also poses some challenges and risks, such as ethical, legal, and social implications, that need to be carefully considered and addressed.

Jobs and Wozniak created their first prototype device in a garage and many a punk band was born the same way. In that spirit, we see many colleagues across the sector recreating their spirit with experimentation and creative around the rapidly changing area of AI. Metaphorically they are out in the garage trying to make it happen.

As a global member-led organisation, we want to extend our current conversations around AI beyond the current (important) focus on assessment and academic integrity. This project is therefore designed to capture everything else.

We want to capture examples of your cutting-edge practice and are creating a database of practice which will facilitate the exchange of ideas, insights, and feedback. This project is expansive in nature and is not limited to academics or academic practice or even any geographical region. You might be doing something interesting in teaching, estate, research, student welfare or marketing and communications. If it involves AI, we want to hear about it!

Getting involved is easy – we want you to submit 200 words of the types of practice you are undertaking, and we will add this to our public database. Across the next year, we will spotlight some of the practices we see and ask the people behind the work to talk in more detail about what they are doing and why. 

At the end of the project, a short report will be complied that will explore what is in the database and try to identify what this means for current and future practice in Higher Education and provide practical guidance for members on how they can harness this punk spirit in an ethical and productive way.

To join the AI Garage, please fill out this form with your details and a brief description of your Generative AI practice. You can find more details on the project page. 

We look forward to hearing from you!


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