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Generative AI Is On The Rise At Business Schools, Study Reveals

Business schools are integrating generative AI such as ChatGPT into curriculums while also emphasizing it as a key research area, according to a new survey

Wed Oct 18 2023

Generative AI's impact on the world is expanding, with a new report from the Graduate Business Curriculum (GBC) Roundtable indicating that business schools are gradually integrating the technology into their curriculums.

While there are some concerns and challenges associated with generative AI, the majority of respondents from the 68 business schools that took part in the survey emphasized the importance of incorporating generative AI as a subject matter in the curriculum and as an area for faculty research.

Three out of four faculty and professionals who participated in the survey confirmed that their business schools already teach generative AI.

Commenting on the current state of development in business schools, Jeff Bieganek, executive director of GBC Roundtable, said: “With the growth of generative AI, business schools face unique challenges and opportunities. We're excited to see the thoughtful and impressive actions and programs that business schools and their leaders are developing to integrate generative AI into their programs, curriculums, and operations.”

Generative AI at business school

Generative AI differs from traditional AI as it focuses on creating new content and data, while traditional AI solves specific tasks with predefined rules.

The report on generative AI surveyed faculty and professionals from 68 mainly US-based business schools to understand how generative AI was being incorporated into graduate business education. 

The survey shows a gap between integrating generative AI as a subject matter and fully integrating it into curriculums. 

While 74% reported teaching generative AI as a subject matter, only 15% stated that generative AI was significantly or fully taught as subject matter within the business school curriculum. 

The most common generative AI topics taught included 'Intro to AI,' 'Ethics/Legal Implications,' and 'Industry Innovation.'

Generative AI in faculty research and student assessment 

In terms of faculty research, 28% of respondents noted that generative AI is significantly or fully integrated at their business schools. However, the report found the use of generative AI beyond the classroom and research centers has been minimal. 

Few business schools have implemented it in areas such as student assessment, content creation, curriculum design and delivery, student recruiting, and the student experience. 

However, half of all respondents agreed that business schools should use generative AI to personalize the student experience in advising, tutoring, and career coaching. 

Innovations among early adopters included an exploratory phase that employs AI chatbots to handle repetitive questions, provide advising services, and assist business analytics students in writing code.

The survey also found a primary focus at schools is on preparing students for the job market and enhancing their success. Business schools are exploring ways to blend advising and career planning functions to improve student success.

Guardrails around generative AI

Due to concerns about academic integrity, business schools across the globe are implementing measures and policies related to the use of generative AI. 

In August, when the survey was conducted, 30% of respondents reported that their university or business school had a policy regarding generative AI. 

However, 20% mentioned that their business school had a formal group working on creating a policy, and another third indicated that discussions were underway. 

Interestingly, those schools that had policies had also further integrated generative AI as a subject matter and into faculty research compared to those without policies.