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AI chatbot’s MBA exam pass poses test for business schools

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Elon Musk has long dismissed an MBA as irrelevant or damaging, but now a company backed by outspoken tech entrepreneurs is realizing the value of its flagship business degree, the artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT. There is a risk of direct damage.

Christian Terwiesch, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (one of the oldest and most prestigious business schools in the United States) decided to put growing concerns about the power of ChatGPT to the test. Operations Management Course, Core MBA Subjects.

in his white paper “Can I get a Wharton MBA with Chat GPT3?” Published this week, he concludes: This has important implications for business school education,” he said, citing the need to review examination policies, curriculum design, and education.

The chatbot has been temporarily overwhelmed by a spike in queries over the past few weeks, prompting many, including business school officials, to suspect that students will use the chatbot to cheat on essays and exams. have raised concerns from academics.

“I’m one of those cautious people,” said Jerry Davis, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “Our entire business in education is being challenged by this, and it will only get harder. It’s time to radically rethink.”

Francisco Veloso, Dean of Imperial College Business School, London, said: Policy around it soon. “

While emphasizing that the increased use of AI technology is inevitable and even highly desirable, he called for a clear disclosure policy in classes about whether students have used ChatGPT, stating that he would “just go back to handwriting.” but more verbal and in class” predicted mitigation measures. — or at least synchronous — discussion.

Microsoft, the software giant co-founded by Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard without even earning a bachelor’s degree, Currently under consideration The $10 billion investment in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, adds to the $1 billion in 2019.

Many predict that technology will fundamentally disrupt a wide range of activities beyond education, such as Internet searches and the world of work.

Musk himself, the founder of Tesla and one of OpenAI’s first funders, said MBA graduates lack sufficient critical-thinking skills, leaving them at the expense of getting close to products and walking the factory floor. and argue that they are too focused on the board and financial performance. .

Ironically, Terwiesch said that while ChatGPT had good literacy and analytical skills in drafting answers to questions about operations management and process analysis, its computational power was much more limited. concluded. He didn’t test it against his full MBA curriculum including marketing, finance, accounting and other subjects.

“I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the language, the brevity, the choice of words, the structure. It was really amazing,” he told the FT. Even simple middle school math was pretty wrong.”

But he stresses that answers can be improved as soon as cues are given, and more broadly, the technology can be used to improve the skills of students, such as test drafting and scoring, to free up teachers for more valuable student support. We emphasized that it offers considerable possibilities in the future.

He also suggested that the application of ChatGPT could threaten many business school graduates who pursue careers as consultants producing reports and recommendations.

Today’s students can hone their judgment by “playing the role of a smart consultant (always with elegant answers, but often wrong)” to the powerful performance of chatbots.

said Kara McWilliams, head of ETS Product Innovation Labs, which has developed tools that apply AI to learning and evaluation and identify AI-generated answers. Remember when calculators came out and there was a lot of fear about using them? I don’t think AI will replace humans, but people using AI will replace humans. It will be “

She argued that ChatGPT can help faculty with lesson planning, syllabus creation, and taking notes for lectures. “They will be able to take on a lot of the monotonous higher education tasks so they can focus on learning. There is a real opportunity to enhance personalization.”

Andrew Karolyi, dean of Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business, said many academics were surprised by ChatGPT and called for an update to its code of conduct and academic integrity statements. Actively bring this topic up in the classroom and involve students in framing AI as a valuable learning tool. “

“One thing we all know for sure is that ChatGPT is not going away,” he said. “If anything, these AI techniques will only continue to get better. Faculty members and university administrators need to invest in educating themselves.”

ChatGPT told the FT that it is “unlikely” to kill an MBA.

“Although AI and machine learning can automate certain tasks and make them more efficient, they still lack the ability to fully replicate the complex decision-making and critical thinking skills developed through the MBA program. “Additionally, MBA programs provide networking opportunities and access to industry experts that technology cannot replicate.”

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