When ChatGPT first came along, many in the world of higher education worried it would let students outsource the hard work of research and writing to artificial intelligence. Those concerns have quickly faded – even though it does exactly that, and much more besides – and universities now embrace AI as both a labour-saving device and a learning tool. But as Christopher Snook explains, AI presents an existential threat to higher education. Not only does it encourage vapid public discourse and squelch a diversity of viewpoints and opinions, it’s another technological innovation allowing universities to dispense with their traditional job – producing students capable of and interested in free and independent thought. Part I of a special series. Part II is here.