University Leadership Suggest Using AI to Replace Striking Grad Students

Big Brains The Daily Beast reports that a dean at Boston University suggested using generative AI to replace the work of striking graduate students. The head-scratching proposition was made in a Wednesday email to university faculty and was one of several suggestions regarding how to “manage course discussion sections and labs” impacted by the Boston University Graduate Worker Union’s (BUGWU) ongoing protests, according to the Beast. It was sent by Stan Sclaroff, who serves as the university’s Dean of Arts & Sciences. In addition to some reportedly very normal recommendations for more effectively managing workloads without the help of their grad students, Sclaroff inexplicably decided to throw in a few more “creative ways in which, we have heard, some faculty are adapting their course formats and using technology to serve their students.” Among those suggestions? Per the Beast, the recommendation that professors “engage generative AI tools to give feedback or facilitate ‘discussion’ on readings or assignments.” Generative AI tools have undeniably made big waves in the world of academia. The “let’s replace protesting graduate employees with AI scabs” idea, though, is certainly a new one. In an email sent out to BU faculty, @BU_Tweets is now suggesting that professors use AI to scab for graduate workers! Our students deserve better! Give us a fair contract so we can get back in the classroom! — BUGWU IS ON STRIKE (@gradworkersofBU) March 28, 2024 Demoralizing The BUGWU’s strike, which began on March 20, is the latest in a years-long string of grad…University Leadership Suggest Using AI to Replace Striking Grad Students

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