Exploring opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence in social work education

Haider, Sharif (2024). Exploring opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence in social work education. In: Baikady, Rajendra and Przeperski, Jarosław eds. The Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Teaching. Routledge International Handbooks. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 46–62.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003422402-5


Artificial intelligence (AI) has already entered day-to-day life, influencing it in a way that is becoming discernible. It has also begun to make its way into the realm of HE. For example, some educational institutions and government agencies are using it to gather and analyse huge amounts of big data relating to students. It is also being used to provide step-by-step personalised instructions, to analyse writing, and to support students via chatbots.

AI’s journey began in the late 1950s. Four scientists are generally recognised as the founders of AI: Allen Newell and Herbert Simon of Carnegie Mellon University, John McCarthy of Stanford University, and Marvin Minsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Based on its current progress, it is certainly arguable that it will disrupt the way social work education will be provided in future. Its influence on social work education is inescapable because it has the potential to provide more modern and personalised curricula, teaching and learning. Therefore, the sooner this new technology is embraces, integrated, managed and exploited in social work education the better. This chapter provides an overview of how artificial intelligence might impact curriculum design, the individualisation of learning and assessment. It will offer some tantalising glimpses into the future, and describe its current influence on social work education, focusing on how AI will enhance and transform education in that field. Finally, it discusses the ethical, technical and pedagogical challenges of integrating AI into social work education.

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