Colleges Now Offer Classes Warning Of Ethical Issues With AI

Colleges are now teaching students about AI ethics, to balance human interactions with programmed intelligence.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

Computer Science Education May Be Necessary For Most Jobs In The Future

AI ethics

From school security to the teacher shortage, Artificial Intelligence is entering the public school system. While new security software boasts enhanced AI technology to protect students, these systems are programmed to run off of data that often panders to stereotypes and cannot discern between individual circumstances. Because of this AI ethics is necessary to balance human interactions with programmed intelligence. Unfortunately, many developers are not properly concerned with the threat of deepfakes and racial bias, and so colleges are offering classes on the growing field of ethics involving artificial intelligence. 

Computer vision programmers are behind on AI ethics. Many developers are tasked with increasing the abilities of artificial intelligence in regards to function and mobility, but very little attention has been given to the ethical concerns surrounding AI security systems that run off of crime statistics which are recognized, enforced, and inputted by humans who are liable to make mistakes, allow personal bias to interfere with their own criminal justice decisions, as well as politically interfere with how data is recorded in order to sway outcomes. Despite this, many AI researchers and developers do not wish to have their work interfered with, even if that entails considering adding ethical components to their tasks. 

With the growing advent of AI systems being incorporated into school systems, ethical concerns are becoming more dire. Students need to know that they can come to school — even when experiencing emotional distress — without being profiled as a potential threat by AI software that reads facial expressions. In addition, students of color already fear increased police presences being added to public education. Crime statistics implicate minorities more often than the majority and so without considering AI ethics and how these technology systems adversely affect student populations, these programs are designing detrimental practices which host the power to harm students rather than help them.   

To combat this problem, some colleges are offering AI ethics courses and even more ethical guidelines during research. Bowden College in Maine will be offering a class specific to this top starting in the fall of 2023. The small school has partnered with the National Humanities Center of North Carolina and will focus on examining common goals and the direction that artificial intelligence should take based on the needs of humanity at large. 

In addition, MIT is offering a series of classes on the social and ethical concerns of computing and programming related to artificial intelligence. The University of Oxford has its own Institute for Ethics in AI which seeks to explore artificial intelligence concerns from a “philosophical and humanistic perspective.” Whether these programs will influence technology fields and encourage AI ethics is uncertain but many believe it is a resource which will spread and transform the future of this expanding science. 

AI ethics

Presently, artificial intelligence development is taking off and implementing unknown entities into schools and other aspects of life. In order to properly manage and integrate these technologies, many believe that AI ethics are needed to properly guide programmers into creating proper systems. Colleges are catching onto this, and some are already scheduling classes on the subject.