"We must use the dynamic development of AI positively to fulfil the mission and vision of our university," say the members of the AI Task Force.
How are we to use artificial intelligence or AI in the educational process effectively and responsibly, including various tools to support the creation of term and qualification papers? The task force set up at the University of West Bohemia in Plzeň this past April is also asking these questions. Its members are working with the EU approach, which divides the use of AI into three purposes: prohibited, controlled and permitted or commonly used.
The experts on the task force are currently drawing attention to the use of AI in the creation of term papers, bachelor’s and master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, but also in outputs from other professional, special-interest, and especially scientific activities of the UWB academic staff.
"The University of West Bohemia in Plzeň is fully aware of the dynamic development of AI, which will affect all areas of our lives. This fact must be respected and used positively for development in the field of education, research and even in the ‘third role’ of the university. Moreover, it is clear that AI tools are already being used not only in education and scientific activities, but especially in the business sector, and will also influence public administration and the non-profit sector, as well as people's leisure time, including lifelong learning," the task force’s statement notes.
At the same time, the task force members point out that the dynamic development of AI is currently not fully treated in legislation and will continue to evolve, which is why, according to them, it is necessary to approach this phenomenon responsibly in terms of academic ethics and gradually according to the anticipated legislation: "We will build on emerging EU legislation, i.e. the Artificial Intelligence Act , and we will then immediately implement the relevant provisions into the academic practice of our university community."
The basic definition, currently needed especially for educational and scientific purposes, is based on the fact that the use of AI technology and tools is already current practice. The ways in which AI can be used should therefore already be divided, at least in working terms, into three areas:
- manipulative use of AI tools, which should be considered off limits to members of the academic community;
- the use of AI tools with an impact on human life, which must always be carried out in a responsible and, where appropriate, controlled manner (professional and ethical supervision);
- the use of AI tools commonly allowed and used in society, which is recommended, with the understanding that the AI user and ultimately the author or team of the output that is implemented is responsible for their use.
The use of AI at UWB in Plzeň must respect copyright, and in the case of copyrighted works we consider it generally necessary always to consider the following aspects: produced by a human, the originality of the work and creative invention in the work. The task force also strongly emphasises attention to GDPR, i.e. the protection of individuals, sensitive (e.g. company) data, etc. When using AI, the author or team must responsibly consider the potential use of “legitimate interest”.
"Transparency is an essential part of working in the professional community at the university. Therefore, despite the current environment of somewhat vague legislation, we urge members of the academic community to monitor the development of AI in their field, to act responsibly in introducing the use of AI in their professional, special-interest, but especially scientific activities bearing in mind the aforementioned warnings, and to comply with the Code of Ethics of the University of West Bohemia in Plzeň.
It is likely that given the current pressure on the consequences of the development of certain versions or types of AI they will be re-evaluated, reprogrammed, etc., and it is therefore necessary to monitor these developments and apply them responsibly, especially in the qualification outputs at the university.
In closing, it is necessary to state that we must use the dynamic development of AI in a positive way to fulfil the mission and vision of our university," the task force members declare.
Basic information on the use of artificial intelligence at UWB, recommendations for students, teachers, researchers, and management, inspirational links and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the website of Lifelong and Distance Learning at UWB.