Pedersen I. (2023, August 23). The rise of generative AI and enculturating AI writing in postsecondary education. Digital Life Institute. https://www.digitallife.org/the-rise-of-generative-ai-and-enculturating-ai-writing-in-postsecondary-education/ Copy to Clipboard
OpenAI’S release of ChatGPT shocked the public not only because so many people adopted it so quickly, but also because generative AI challenges the reverence society has for the act of writing. The rise of AI writing tools instigates a cultural moment that is difficult to measure. Universities are compelled to adapt to generative AI as a phenomenon before there is agreement upon how AI writing should be used or even valued by society, causing policymaking to be reactive. While higher education faculty members and professionals in teaching and learning are largely concentrating on whether the technology is factually correct or not in the writing it produces, or whether a student might be cheating, few concentrate on its threat to “writing culture” as an aspect of society at large. This opinion piece argues that the hype surrounding generative AI writing is a response to its cultural disruption. It suggests that higher education will need to decide if using AI writing will be valued as an aesthetic or professional practice and a means to garner what social theorist Pierre Bourdieu calls “cultural capital” (Bourdieu, 1986). In sum, will we start to recognize AI writing as good writing, or those use it as good writers demonstrating a shift in cultural attitudes and shared values?
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