A New AI Chatbot Is Revolutionizing Business School Curriculum and Accreditation — Here's What It Could Change

The Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia is running a pilot AI program called ChatSDG, and last week at the world’s largest business education conference, professors, deans, and administrators from other business schools were all “flocking” to test it, Bloomberg reported.

ChatSDG evaluates how well scholarly articles and journals align with the UN’s sustainable development goals, which include everything from ending poverty to ensuring sustainable consumption. This alignment is necessary for business schools to obtain accreditation from AACSB, an international organization founded in 1916. According to Indeed, AACSB accreditation is one of the most rigorous and prestigious accreditations in higher education.

When a school submits research to ChatSDG, the AI chatbot acts like a peer reviewer and creates a custom report that answers the question, “What is the societal impact of your journal article?” It gives each journal or article a score from zero to five, with five being the most aligned with UN goals.

If the article hasn’t been published yet, the bot includes ways for researchers to improve it. For articles that are already out, ChatSDG suggests how the research could be used by people in the real world.

“It’s going to revolutionize the [business school] curriculum,” Haub Dean Joseph DiAngelo told Bloomberg about ChatSDG. “It’s going to revolutionize how faculty members do research, and it’s going to revolutionize how schools provide their metrics for the accreditation process.”

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ChatSDG could slash the time that business schools have to expend to obtain and keep their AACSB certification, which has only been awarded so far to one-third of business schools in the U.S. and 6% globally. Obtaining the certification can take six years, according to Bloomberg, and currently requires countless hours of human evaluation and reports.

ChatSDG “satisfies AACSB’s accreditation requirement to show evidence of societal impact,” the AACSB confirmed.

Using ChatSDG to rate articles could put business schools on the fast track to accreditation and cut down the time it would have taken human reviewers to do the same thing.

Related: Business Schools Are Adding AI Education Into The Curriculum

The Haub school joined forces with Cabells Scholarly Analytics to create the AI chatbot, which, per Bloomberg, has been piloted in 10 AACSB-accredited business schools over the past 18 months.

AI has increasingly become framed as a business tool, with an October Harvard Business School study finding that consultants who used AI for certain tasks completed their work more quickly and produced a higher-quality output.

The majority of business schools in the U.S. are incorporating AI into their curriculum already, including the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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