Dr. Dalia Sherif, Executive Dean, Baccalaureate Programs & Partnerships at Lone Star College

Dr. Dalia Sherif has been recognized as a distinguished honoree by the Houston Business Journal in 2019, earning accolades as a “Woman Who Means Business” and a “Woman to Watch.” Additionally, she was honored in 2023 as a recipient of the Jesse H. Jones Global Leadership Award. Prior to her role at Lone Star College, Dr. Sherif served as the Assistant Director of the MBA program at the University of Houston-Downtown, where she played a pivotal role in transforming the program from the smallest in Houston to the largest in Texas. Her professional journey also includes a tenure as a Commercial Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she provided expert analysis and guidance to facilitate the marketing of U.S. goods and services across 15 countries. Dr. Sherif holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, an MBA, and two postgraduate business certificates from Edinburgh Business School. Her dedication and expertise have been recognized with several Superior Honor Awards and Meritorious Honor Awards from the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce. Committed to community service, she actively contributes to various organizations, including the Asian Chamber of Commerce, East End Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Houston, Psi Chi Honor Society, Alpha Chi, Global Goodwill Ambassadors, and the National Honor Society.Top of Form


In an era defined by groundbreaking technological advancement, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as the newest disruptive innovation. Offering the most convenient solution to numerous long-standing cognitive challenges in every field, AI-powered solutions have become the buzzwords in any conversation. At conferences, presenting on an AI-related topic guarantees a packed room filled with attendees, and a standing-room-only became the new norm. From virtual assistants and chatbots to predictive algorithms, AI technologies’ benefits are undeniable (Bankins et al., 2023). However, within this significant technological breakthrough that has redefined competitiveness for all, an essential question emerges: what variables may have been overlooked and what risks do they expose us to? I aim to explore two polarized opinions and highlight critical points that may have been neglected within each perspective.

Colleges and universities’ heightened concern over AI-driven plagiarism detection may inadvertently overshadow the potential benefits of fully embracing AI integration in higher education curricula. The more I learn about colleges and universities investing in AI usage detection technologies, the more concerned I became about the widening digital divide, encompassing the disparities in access to digital technology. If not handled with care, the excessive focus on avoiding AI tools in higher education could worsen the digital divide and perpetuate more systemic inequities (Anjorin, 2023). Hearing some students express apprehension about using AI in general, often viewing it as synonymous with plagiarism, underscores the significant barrier students face in engaging with AI technologies for fear of potential academic integrity repercussions. This highlights the crucial mission for higher education institutions to establish a systematic strategy for integrating AI into their curricula, ensuring that students attain the necessary AI literacy to succeed in the future workforce. This is especially critical for underserved communities that may lack access to AI education beyond academic settings.

Additionally, the availability of AI tools, such as advanced algorithms and data analytics, often necessitates substantial financial resources and technical expertise, placing them beyond the reach of underserved populations. Biases regarding the utilization of AI, coupled with the polarized opinions between colleges and universities that advocate for its integration and those that oppose it, can result in discriminatory outcomes by widening the gap between those with access to digital literacy and those who do not. Examining the existing skill set of the workforce, grasping the needs for AI integration, and pinpointing any skill deficiencies that require attention could offer a more promising approach (Morandini et al., 2022). Moreover, employers are rapidly embracing automation of jobs through AI which further threatens those with limited access to AI education and training, deepening existing socio-economic disparities. Addressing the digital divide and ensuring equitable access to AI technologies are crucial steps in mitigating the perpetuation of systemic inequities in society.

Another key consideration is to acknowledge and harness the advantages of AI while exercising caution to prevent excessive reliance on it. There are implications of our growing dependence on AI on cognitive functions, including critical thinking abilities, analysis skills, and decision-making capabilities. As I contemplate my own relationship with AI, I am struck by the subtle ways in which its influence has now improved the efficiency of many tasks. From relying on smart devices to sending reminders and summarizing literature, I find myself becoming increasingly dependent on AI every day. Researching a new AI platform to help faculty with excessive grading loads now needed more self-validation. As much as using AI offers undeniable assistance, alleviating a lot of the unnecessary cognitive burdens and tripling my productivity, it started to feel as though one had surrendered all cognitive tasks to AI. As a psychology scholar myself, I became aware of subtle shifts in my cognitive abilities and habits over time. A situation that we may call ‘cognitive complacency’ that quickly leads to some form of intellectual atrophy and an inability to write and think as we had before AI.  One’s brain becomes conditioned to outsource its functions to AI, a disturbing feeling of slow and methodical deterioration or even erosion of one’s talents. AI  not only impacts decisions on a surface level but also fundamentally alters internal cognitive processes, with the potential to shape human beliefs and perpetuate stereotypes (Bauer et al., 2021). As I began managing my daily AI usage, I soon noticed a resurgence in my independence and a complete restoration of my cognitive power.

It sounds like one of these “to be or not to be situations,” or rather a “to AI or not to AI” dilemma. But isn’t that everything in our life? And the answer never lies in the extremes. Relying solely on AI for cognitive tasks may erode individuals’ confidence in their own abilities. By the same token, the unequal exposure to AI technologies especially during college exacerbates societal disparities between individuals who possess the AI skills and those who are not empowered to navigate an AI-driven world. The key lies in striking a balance—a delicate equilibrium similar to managing rest and exercise, work and leisure, and all other opposing life pursuits. Achieving this balance could involve developing a one credit course titled “AI Principles and Practices (AI 1300)”, which would explore ethical guidelines, best practices, and available tools in AI technology. This course aims to educate students on the responsible deployment of AI systems while equipping them with the knowledge essential for success in an AI-driven world. Discovering your personal formula involves navigating dependence on AI while embracing its boundless potential.


  • Anjorin, A. (2023). Bridging The digital gap: Addressing the ‘AI divide’ between developing and developed economies. doi: 10.31219/osf.io/rjasg
  • Bankins, S.,  Ocampo, A., Marrone, M.,  Restubog, S.,  & Woo, S. (2023). A multilevel review of artificial intelligence in organizations: Implications for organizational behavior research and practice. Special Issue: The Job Annual Review and Conceptual Development, 45(2), 159-182. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2735
  • Bauer, K., von Zahn, M., & Hinz, O. (2021). Expl(AI)ned: The impact of explainable artificial intelligence on users’ information processing. SAFE Working Paper No. 315, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3872711
  • Morandini, S.,  Fraboni, F.,  Angelis, M.,  Puzzo, G.,  Giusino, D.,  Pietrantoni, L. (2022). The impact of artificial intelligence on workers’ skills: Upskilling and reskilling in organizations. Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, 26:39-68. doi: 10.28945/5078

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