Artificial Intelligence and accounting education: what are the implications?

Artificial intelligence in accounting education has been promised for a long time. Finally, it’s here, but are you ready for it? Explore the hype and the realities at this free Accounting Cafe seminar on Thursday 16 February 2023 at 3pm.

Photograph from the back of a class full of students. The room has the Accounting Cafe logo on the wall and "Open AI" on a digital whiteboard.
Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash

The latest and most prominent tool to attract attention is ChatGPT from OpenAI. This is an advanced chatbot that interacts conversationally. It answers general language questions with follow-ups on various topics — and accounting is no exception. For the moment, it’s free for anybody to use.

ChatGPT will compose essays for your students and provide answers to numerical and text-based questions with explanations and justifications. For teachers, it will synthesise course data into key insights, analyse your syllabus and course objectives, or even apply a marking rubric to student essays. Some people are experimenting with it to create course outlines based on their specific learning outcomes and preferred teaching strategy. It can also write and debug code.

It’s not infallible and gives incorrect answers, but very often it is eerily accurate, sophisticated and comprehensive. And it will only get better.

Its launch has led to claims that the essay is dead and that institutions should return to timed in-person assessments. Still, Dr Martin Compton, Associate Professor at the Arena Centre for Research-Based Education, believes this is a mistake:

. . . this could be another catalyst for systemic and sustained change to the way we do assessment and feedback.

In this Accounting Cafe seminar, Martin and Professor Susan Smith seek to separate hype from reality and explain how educators can review their assessment practices in an AI world.

Play around with ChatGPT on the OpenAI website and come to the seminar with your thoughts and ideas about the impact of artificial intelligence in accounting education.

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Seminar hosts

Martin Compton is an Associate Professor at the Arena Centre for Research-Based Education at University College London, focusing on program design, curriculum development, teaching, assessment, and feedback enhancement.

Susan Smith is a Professor of Accounting at University College London School of Management and a chartered accountant. She is also a National Teaching Fellow. Her scholarship focuses on the student experience.


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