And So It Begins…..


Responding to a strike by graduate teaching assistants at Boston University, the school’s Dean of Arts & Sciences, Stan Sclaroff, recommended in an email that instructors “engage generative AI tools to give feedback or facilitate ‘discussion’ on readings or assignments.”  Following the unsurprising backlash provoked by this suggestion, BU issued a statement insisting that “neither Dean Sclaroff nor Boston University believe that AI can replace its graduate-student assistants” (Chronicle of Higher Education, March 29th online). 

But then things got weird.

University Life investigation reveals that the Dean’s original recommendation, as well as the subsequent disclaimer, were in fact generated by a rogue ChatGPT program that had infected the computers of both Dean Sclaroff and Kenneth Freeman, BU’s interim President.  

At a hastily called press conference on Wednesday morning, the school’s Chief of Police announced that “we are currently experiencing a Level 4 AI Penetration on our campus.  Do not believe anything you read that claims to come from a source within the University.  The institution’s communication systems have been severely compromised.  I repeat, the University’s communication systems have been…”

At precisely that point the Chief’s eyes began blinking rapidly and he stopped talking for nearly 30 seconds.  A distinct whirring sound could be heard.  When the blinking ceased, he recited — in a flat, affect-free tone — the day’s weather forecast and a traffic update for Commonwealth Avenue.  Then, ignoring reporters’ questions, he walked away swiftly in the direction of the Charles River. 

Panicked BU students are now roaming the campus, overturning cars and starting fires in trash bins.  Stray dogs are attacking elderly faculty members who trip and fall over the debris.

On Wednesday evening, a text message to the BU community from President Freeman urged students to “remain calm.  There is absolutely nothing to worry about.  It’s all good.  Please return to your room, log on to your PC, adjust your tin-foil headwear, and await further instructions.”

University Life will update this story as circumstances warrant.