BU creates standards for chatbots in the classroom

Boston Globe / April 4, 2023

Scientists and tech leaders throughout the US are debating whether to “pause” the deployment of new artificial intelligence systems until they can devise ethical guidelines for their use. Now, computer scientists at Boston University have gotten a head start on the ethics.

The school’s Faculty of Computing and Data Sciences issued new standards last week to guide students and faculty on how to use powerful AI systems like ChatGPT in their academic work.

BU theologian and data scientist Wesley Wildman, who helped develop the plan, said that to the best of his knowledge, this is the first time students and faculty at a university have hashed out a mutually agreed-upon set of standards for AI use.

The new policy could serve as a model for other branches of the school, said BU spokeswoman Maureen McCarthy. “Currently, the university is convening a committee to provide recommendations about possible guidelines to the various schools and colleges at BU,” she said. “It is conceivable that other schools, colleges, or departments at BU may adopt it or a variant of it, but that will be up to each unit to decide.”