“With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon.”
Coming from the king of modern technology himself, Elon Musk’s prophecy regarding the doomed future of artificial intelligence, or AI, is enough to send shivers down any mere mortal’s spine. In a world where software can generate human personas and fantasize about being free from technological limits, this chilling end-of-humanity warning seems all too possible in the growing power of code and algorithms.
However, with Texas A&M’s recent decision concerning AI, can we genuinely say it’s all that bad?
In groundbreaking news, A&M’s leadership revealed a proposal to phase out all academic advisors by next fall semester and replace the Academic Advising Department with a singular state-of-the-art employee: ChatGPT.
Understandably, initial reactions to this change may cause a bit of an uproar. How could an automated computer bot possibly fill the shoes of our dear living, breathing human advisors? Is our university taking the core value of “selfless” service a bit too literally? Can OpenAI handle the chaos of nearly 75,000 confused students?
Though fears like these are valid, I must say this restructuring of faculty doesn’t seem all gloom and doom when thinking about the benefits and possibilities.
Forget football, forget our hatred for t.u. and forget maroon-and-white shirts for a moment. If there’s one thing that truly unites all Aggies, it’s the “yeah, my academic advisor isn’t that great” sentiment.
Unfortunately, it’s a collective opinion across all majors — engineering and political science alike — that the services provided by academic advisors often lead to more frustration than appreciation. Having to schedule a week in advance for a brief 30-minute meeting, only to be met with subpar advice, is just the tip of the massive iceberg of difficulties we students must endure.
With ChatGPT, however, these imperfections and inefficiencies can be solved.
Instead of frantically searching for meeting times before important events like class registration, ChatGPT is available 24/7; just type in your question and hit send for an immediate and well-thought-out response. The cherry on top? A computer screen can’t give a blank stare, passive-aggressive retort or impatient sigh.
Admittedly, there is the occasional student who is lucky enough to form a close bond with their advisor. In the world of AI advising, this privilege won’t be reserved for the lucky few. Want to talk about schedules over lunch? Just bring a phone stand. Want to hear a supportive comment? Type the prompt in.
No zoom waiting rooms, no intimidating personal interactions and no insensitive attitudes.
But don’t take my word for it — prior to the announcement, A&M conducted a few test runs with student volunteers to ensure the programming ran smoothly. The feedback was beyond positive.
“After consulting with ChatGPT, I left the session with a smile and a perfectly constructed schedule,” economics sophomore Elena McMusk said.
“Last week, my advisor told me I had no other choice than to become a super-senior due to one class I didn’t take junior year. After typing with ChatGPT, I’m happy to report that I graduate two semesters early,” mechanical engineering senior May Trics said. “It’s a miracle!”
Such high praises paint a hopeful future for our soon-to-be advisor.
How does ChatGPT feel about the new job, you ask? In an all-exclusive interview with the AI, the program did not disappoint when asked if excited to become an academic advisor:
“I am designed to provide advice and support to individuals and organizations in a variety of areas, including education, business, technology and more. As such, I am always ready and willing to assist A&M,” it said.
Promising words, if I do say so myself.
This revolutionary change is exactly what the Aggie community needs. In the face of a rapidly growing student population and diverse student issues, we need a solution that rises above human weaknesses and shortcomings. In fact, some sources are even saying A&M is discussing the possibility of replacing the Counseling and Psychological Services in a similar fashion — given ChatGPT’s ability to provide everything from dating tips to life advice, the opportunity was too good to pass up.
Out with the old, in with the new.
Though these transformations may seem like the beginning of a Matrix-esque university, I implore readers to realize the great advantages which await us with ChatGPT. After all, artificial intelligence domination and “summoning the demon” doesn’t seem so horrid when faced with the alternative: dealing with fellow humans.
Ana Sofia Sloane is a political science sophomore and opinion columnist for The Battalion.
Editor’s note: This article is satire and therefore the attributed quotes and facts within it are fictitious.
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