As an IT and student affairs professional with a long history in higher education, I’ve seen how technology has changed various aspects of academia. New technologies often face skepticism or concerns about how they might affect the values we hold dear. By learning from our experiences, we can better understand and address these concerns. ChatGPT, an AI language model, has recently sparked discussions about academic integrity, reminding me of a similar situation.

A few weeks ago, I read an article saying we shouldn’t automate what we care about. This idea reminded me of the resistance we encountered in 2005 when we introduced electronic medical records (EMRs) to counseling psychologists on our campus. They worried that using technology would make their profession less human and personal.

But what if we think about technology differently? Instead of seeing it as a replacement for what we care about, we can use it to make routine and supporting tasks more efficient. This way, we have more time to focus on what truly matters, like giving our students the attention they need.

The adoption of EMRs is a great example. At first, counseling psychologists were skeptical, but over time they found that the technology made their work more efficient, giving them more time to spend with their clients. They realized that using technology didn’t take away the human element; it allowed them to focus more on what they cared about.

We can apply this same perspective to ChatGPT and academic integrity concerns. By having open conversations with educators and students, we can address their concerns and show them the potential benefits of using technology like ChatGPT to improve efficiency in education. By tackling the challenges directly and refining the technology, we can ensure it fits the core values of teaching and learning.

It’s important to remember that ChatGPT, or any technology, isn’t inherently good or bad. How we use, regulate, and adapt it to our specific needs determines its impact on academic integrity. By changing how we think about technology and learning from our past experiences, we can better prepare ourselves to face the challenges and opportunities of new technologies like ChatGPT, ultimately making education better for everyone involved.