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Artificial intelligence and conversational agent evolution – a cautionary tale of the benefits and pitfalls of advanced technology in education, academic research, and practice

Curtis C. Cain (Department of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)
Carlos D. Buskey (Department of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)
Gloria J. Washington (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 15 September 2023

Issue publication date: 7 November 2023

869

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and conversational agents, emphasizing their potential benefits while also highlighting the need for vigilant monitoring to prevent unethical applications.

Design/methodology/approach

As AI becomes more prevalent in academia and research, it is crucial to explore ways to ensure ethical usage of the technology and to identify potentially unethical usage. This manuscript uses a popular AI chatbot to write the introduction and parts of the body of a manuscript discussing conversational agents, the ethical usage of chatbots and ethical concerns for academic researchers.

Findings

The authors reveal which sections were written entirely by the AI using a conversational agent. This serves as a cautionary tale highlighting the importance of ethical considerations for researchers and students when using AI and how educators must be prepared for the increasing prevalence of AI in the academy and industry. Measures to mitigate potential unethical use of this evolving technology are also discussed in the manuscript.

Originality/value

As conversational agents and chatbots increase in society, it is crucial to understand how they will impact the community and how we can live with technology instead of fighting against it.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors extend their gratitude to the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor, and reviewers for their invaluable feedback, which significantly improved the manuscript. Their insights refined the paper, making it more focused and digestible. Understanding the rapid and unceasing evolution of technology, they offered pivotal guidance. Additionally, they are thankful to their peers and colleagues for stimulating discussions that inspired this manuscript and motivated us to pursue external funding to delve deeper into the use of conversational agents in academia.

Citation

Cain, C.C., Buskey, C.D. and Washington, G.J. (2023), "Artificial intelligence and conversational agent evolution – a cautionary tale of the benefits and pitfalls of advanced technology in education, academic research, and practice", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 394-405. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-02-2023-0019

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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