conversational AI

Unleashing AI’s Potential in the Future of Higher Education

Explore how AI is reshaping higher education, tackling enrollment challenges, and preparing students for the future. Insights from top university experts.

They say even the mighty oak bends in the storm. If we think of the storm as the current wave of artificial intelligence (AI) and the oak as Western academia, we are indeed looking at a significant transformation. Centuries-old higher education institutions are now in a position of having to justify their purpose to parents and students. Concerns about the labor market are understandable, and questions about how higher education will fit into the future landscape are valid.

Despite the overwhelming impact AI has had on our lives, both personally and professionally, there are still fields where changes have made dents but failed to alter the status quo. Higher education is one of them—a field where tradition is paramount. The more an institution can leverage its traditions, the higher it can set the cost of attendance. Issues like enrollment and retention have been challenging for universities and colleges for some time. Technology has played a significant role in addressing these challenges.

At DRUID AI, we firmly believe in the importance of higher education. Part of our mission is to support these institutions with our Conversational AI technologies. We believe that technology can augment the educational process, enabling better knowledge transfer between teachers and students and enhancing the overall learning experience. The role of technology in higher education is a topic of growing debate. We’ve brought together a panel of experts in education and technology integration.

Benjamin Duggar, Executive IT Director of Georgia Southern University, is a firm believer in the value of AI for student life and education. David Rehr, a professor and director of the Center for Business Civic Engagement at the Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University. Bryant Richardson, Director of the Center for Intelligent Process Automation at Nichols College.

Together, they discuss some of the hottest topics surrounding technology in higher education in an online seminar hosted by data and technology expert Kieran Gillmurray. We strongly encourage you to watch the entire discussion, as each guest brings valuable insights on the current situation and the potential future of education. Here’s a summary of some subjects covered in this conversation.

Is AI Hype in the Academic Environment?

Artificial intelligence has become the talk of the town, dominating conversations everywhere. From stay-at-home moms to top-level executives and government leaders, everyone is discussing language models, bots, the future of work, new jobs, lost jobs, and much more. It’s easy to label everything as “hype,” but in higher education, evidence suggests otherwise. Most of today’s students are Gen Z, the so-called digital natives. For them, AI is a natural part of life. The ease with which they’ve incorporated it into daily life is clear proof that if universities and colleges want to enroll them, they must adapt. AI is here to stay. Benjamin Duggar shares insights from Georgia Southern’s adoption story and reflects on why this is not a momentary trend.

Parents Are Demanding More Skills for Tomorrow

There is a documented decline in student enrollment across the United States. Parents are not only reluctant to invest in higher education but are also demanding a curriculum more grounded in real-life requirements. The global focus on AI has them questioning whether this is something their children can afford to pass up. David Rehr includes this on a list of reasons why universities and colleges need AI.

Professors Are Nervous

Throughout history, the core structure of education has remained relatively consistent. Certainly, there have been tides of change with new pedagogical approaches, revised policies, diversity and inclusion efforts, and better access to education. Some of the biggest leaps were powered by technology. The growing use of computers in the 1960s and ‘70s and the advent of the Internet in the ‘90s were significant shifts. However, they were generally well-absorbed by the academic environment due to the slower pace of integration. Today, AI is being incorporated into our lives at breakneck speed. It’s easy to forget that unique human traits, which are vital in the educational process, cannot be replaced by technology.

Successful Implementation Needs Collaboration

Every intelligent automation and AI project, whether classic RPA or high-end Conversational AI, needs to be a collaborative effort. Professors, academic staff, and students should all be involved from the start. This collaboration is key to driving motivation, building confidence in technology, and fostering a sense of collective success. Benjamin Duggar shares a great example of how Georgia Southern involves academic staff and students in automation projects, integrating technology into daily scholarly life.

Employers Are Asking for Students with Automation and AI Skills

It’s not just parents who want a more technology-oriented curriculum. Employers expect higher education graduates to be proficient in using these new technologies. This demand is currently visible in key areas like finance and HR and is likely to expand to other sectors. Bryant Richardson describes his experience with stakeholders and students, outlining what is likely to become a standard requirement.


Higher education, traditionally recognized for its consistency, is at a turning point. Universities and colleges that want to secure healthy enrollment and retention must embrace the potential of technology. It’s still early to accurately predict the benefits of integrating tools like Conversational AI, RPA, and Generative AI into education, but early adopters are showing promising results. Watch the full-length discussion for free and let us know what you think.

If you want to learn more about how DRUID AI can contribute to success in higher education, get in touch with our team today.


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