The Future of Academia in Light of Artificial Intelligence

26 April 2024


The Deanship of Graduate Studies and Research at Beirut Arab University organized a workshop entitled "The Future of Academia in Light of Artificial Intelligence" on Friday April 26th in B1 Room, Hariri Building, Beirut Campus. This workshop aimed to address the opportunities and challenges associated with artificial intelligence across various disciplines.
The workshop commenced with a comprehensive exploration of artificial intelligence from multidisciplinary perspectives. The initial segment consisted of five informative sessions, each dedicated to shed light on artificial intelligence through the lens of a distinct discipline. The workshop featured a diverse lineup of speakers, each bringing their expertise in different areas related to artificial intelligence. Dr. Bilal Nakhal, Dr. May Itani, and Dr. Abdallah El Chakik from the BAU Faculty of Science delivered a session on artificial intelligence from the perspective of computer science. Their collective knowledge shed light on the advancements and implications of AI in this field.
Dr. Shereen Hamadeh, senior consultant with Education Development Trust and founder of Via Education Strategists, presented on the impact of AI on education. Her insights provided valuable perspectives on how AI can revolutionize teaching and learning methodologies. Dr. Shereen talked about how AI models like Chat GPT and DALL-E, among many others, can enhance learning experiences, emphasizing their supportive role alongside human instructors to improve engagement and outcomes.
Dr. Ziad Doughan,  from BAU Faculty of Engineering, discussed the use and perception of AI in engineering disciplines. His session explored the practical applications of AI within engineering and highlighted the potential benefits and challenges.
Dr. Amal Naous from the BAU Faculty of Medicine focused on the potential uses and breakthroughs of AI in the medical field. She emphasized the importance of accountability in cases where errors may occur, acknowledging the challenges associated with implementing AI in healthcare.
Dr. Amira Zaylaa, from the Faculty of Engineering, explored the impact of artificial intelligence on the field of biomedical engineering. Her presentation highlighted the transformative effects of AI and emphasized the significance of utilizing AI effectively to tackle complex challenges. Dr. Zaylaa's lecture emphasized the importance of incorporating AI into academic programs; she talked about initiatives like DECAIR and LIRA 2024, aimed at fostering collaboration between academia and industry in healthcare and biomedical engineering.
Dr. Sara Zein, from the Faculty of Law and Political Science at BAU, provided insights on the legal aspects associated with the use of AI. She discussed the need for further progress in ensuring accountability when utilizing AI-generated solutions, particularly in decision-making processes. Dr. Zein's lecture addressed ethical implications and discussions revolving around principles of fairness, respect, and non-discrimination, guided by UNESCO's Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.
The lecture sessions were followed by a hands-on workshop moderated by Dr. Shereen Hamadeh. During this session, attendees engaged in practical activities and exercises, gaining hands-on experience with various AI tools that would enhance their work as educators and researchers.
Overall, the workshop offered a comprehensive exploration of artificial intelligence from multiple disciplinary perspectives. The insights shared by the diverse range of speakers, and the hands-on application delivered by Dr. Shereen Hamadeh, equipped the attendees with valuable knowledge and practical skills to navigate the evolving landscape of AI in academia, which is part of BAU's mission to always seek excellence through empowering its academic and administrative staff.