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Revolutionizing Research

June 27, 2024 Erica Hulse
An LLM-generated graphic rendering of robots and people sitting around a kitchen table with cups of coffee and conversing.

In the College of Business, every area, be it marketing, accounting, economics, or another field of study, is impacted by generative AI. Driven by the desire to better understand not only current but future capabilities of large language models (LLMs) across multiple industries and fields of knowledge and to best educate their students about artificial intelligence (AI) in the classroom, our faculty members venture to the furthest edge of this technological horizon. Through collaborating with colleagues and conducting studies to produce and publish cutting-edge research, we are developing a profound understanding of how LLMs such as ChatGPT, Gemini, and Llama 3 are changing the landscape of the world’s business industries. Armed with this knowledge and insight, those findings are being shared through a variety of academic journals and publications, as well as through research colloquiums and roundtable discussions held at the College. 

Whether designing their own databases using the assistance of generative AI, creating their own LLMs to aid in progressing their focused academic research, or partnering with other academics in the field of business, our faculty continue to establish themselves as business research leaders. Together, this work is not just benefitting those close to home at the University of Louisville but positively impacts our society on a global scale.

Data Discovery

With a focus on collecting, analyzing, identifying, and sharing patterns in marketing techniques and strategies over significant periods of time, Challenge for Excellence Chair in Supply Chain Management and Professor of Marketing Richard Germain, PhD. recently presented the development of his study, “An Artificial Intelligence-Aided Interpretive Analysis of 20,000+ Printers’ Ink Articles: 1888-1924,” as part of the College of Business Research Colloquium series. Known as the first national trade magazine for advertisers, Printers’ Ink articles provide a window for professionals and academics in the field of marketing to better understand how this area of study grew and became an established part of the business world. Germain’s studied time period of Printers’ Ink articles pre-dates the existence of academic marketing journals, and the collection and analysis of articles from this publication offer unique and valuable insight into the development of marketing as an institution.

Intelligent Inquiry

Considering how large language models such as ChatGPT can be used to accurately answer accounting-related inquiries, Assistant Professor of Accountancy Dereck Barr-Pulliam, PhD, participated in collaborative research, presenting data on this issue in a paper entitled, “The ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence Chatbot: How Well Does it Answer Accounting Assessment Questions?” in the November 2023 edition of Issues in Accounting Education. Using data from 14 countries and 186 institutions, researchers compared the responses of ChatGPT and accounting students for 28,085 questions from accounting assessments and textbook test banks. The paper provides data regarding how ChatGPT performs on different question types, accounting topics, class levels, open/closed assessments, and test bank questions and discusses implications for accounting education and research.

Chatbot Conversations

While research is an integral part of faculty focus, the necessity of sharing that research with fellow faculty and staff remains a priority of the College. Events such as roundtable discussions, research colloquiums, and a future AI Council geared toward advancing the progression of machine learning in the College are helping to spread knowledge of AI and its impact on academia and the business world.

The roundtable discussion series, AI Conversations & Coffee, hosted by Coordinator of Online Instructional Support Matt Elder, EdD. of the Online Programs Office and featuring Interim Dean Jeff Guan, PhD., aims to engage College faculty and staff in the discussion of a variety of generative AI topics and issues inside and outside of the classroom, including:

  • Incorporating AI in Courses
  • Using AI in Course Development and Research
  • Academic Integrity in the Age of AI
  • The Future of AI – What’s Next and How to Prepare 
  • The Current State of AI 
  • Navigating the Ethical and Societal Implications of AI

Future Forward

Foreseeing the continued growth of LLM usage at the College, Guan is in the process of developing a council geared toward furthering the consideration, conversation, implementation, and advancement of machine learning as it pertains to the academic and professional development of the continued emergence of generative AI technology. The council, notes Guan, consists of “a group of business professionals, students, and staff and faculty from the College of Business that are passionate about AI. The main goal of the Council is to serve as a forum for the exchange and discussion of ideas about AI adoption, AI innovation, and AI integration into the business curricula.”

About the UofL College of Business:

Founded in 1953, the UofL College of Business fosters intellectual and economic vitality in our city, region, and the global business landscape. Our academic programs, research, community outreach initiatives, and commitment to student success inspire lives and businesses to flourish through entrepreneurship, innovation, critical thinking, diversity, and the power of people.

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