Matt’s Major Project – The Ethical Considerations of AI

It’s finally done.  Below you will find my major project in which I explore the ethical dimensions of AI use.  I would like to thank everyone in the course for providing such rich discussion on this topic, and our instructor Alec for facilitating it all.  If you would like to see how this project came together you can visit a portion of my blog dedicated to it by clicking here.

Scripting Complete – On to the Presentation

Hello again!

The script for my final project is finally done, but like all scripts it still needs some revision.  My target time for my final presentation is 20 minutes, but I feel that I may need freestyle rapping skills to get down to that.  The outline for my final three areas of concern (with regards to the ethics of AI) are below.

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The Sword of Damocles – Scrambling to the Finish Line

The theme of this week has been the integration of ideas.  I have roughly 40 pages of single space quotes, notes, and musings on the ethical implications of AI from roughly 20 peer reviewed papers, blogs, and websites.  What needed to happen this week was the consolidation of this information into a useable form.  My process is unusually antiquated given the context of my presentation, but I prefer different coloured highlighters, sticky notes, and tape when it comes to identifying themes in data.  I print out my research and lay it out on the ground.  I enjoy the physical act of moving from page to page highlighting similar points and identifying key arguments.  It looks a bit like a suspect board from a 1990s police procedural show (minus the wool string and pushpins connecting ideas – I am allergic to wool), but it works for me.

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You are not in control: Threats to privacy, democracy, and personal choice

As the deadline for my project fast approaches I find myself scrambling to get in “one last article” for fear of missing out on a key idea or insight.  The ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence [AI] are far reaching.  In my opinion it might be largest technological shift our society has undergone since the advent of the Internet, or the industrialization of manufacturing.  My intention this week is to start synthesizing the information I’ve collected and identify key themes.

But there is something still missing.

Since teachers in my province have found themselves thrust into the spotlight (due to contract negotiations) I started to wonder how AI will impact the political process.  Everyone is well aware of the foreign election interference in both Canada and the United States.  Peddling influence is nothing new.  Foreign actors will always try to sway things in their favour (I am sure that we and our security partners have had similar influence campaigns for years), but AI’s ability to work with truly massive data sets presents new opportunities to undermine our institutions.  To this end I read an article from the Yale Journal of Law & Technology entitled Artificial Intelligence: Risks to privacy and democracy by Manheim and Kaplan.  Below are some of the insights it provided. Continue reading

Disabilities, Deepfakes, & Democracy – Critical Considerations of AI Usage

Artificial Intelligence and Disability

As the deadline for my major project inches ever closer I find myself scrambling to cover blind spots.  The main question that I have sought to answer in this project how does AI affects regular everyday people.  Intellectual arguments aside, new technologies change our lives, for better or for worse.  Ethical boundaries are constantly being pushed by technology and I want to get a grasp of where and how AI redefining what it means to live in our world.  One of the inherent problems with a broad topic such as this is looking beyond your own experience.  As an able-bodied person I tend to forget that the perspectives of those living and working with disabilities needs to be part of this conversation.

To this end I read through an excellent article by Francisco Jose Bariffi entitled Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights and Disability. In it Bariffi identifies several key areas of concern with regards to AI and its impact on those living with disabilities.

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The Remix Argument – Does it Apply in the Case of Generative AI?

Marantz turntable, closeup on headshell by Paul Joseph, CC BY 2.0

As surprising as it seems one of my interests is visual art.  In fact I minored in it in my  bachelor degree (approximately 3 rotator cuff tears, 2 strained ACLs, and a mountain of debt ago).  I remember in my first art history course the lecturer strode onto stage and boldly proclaimed, “Nothing is created in a vacuum, every song, story, painting, and sculpture ever created was influenced by what came before it.”  Admittedly at the time I didn’t fully understand what the professor meant by this (it was an 8:30AM class and I was very tired), but the implications of the statement bear a great deal of significance in our understanding the disagreements around the use of AI in creative and academic spaces.

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Is Generative AI Plagiarism and/or Theft? Nuance Complicates an Emphatic “Yes”

A hand holds a concealed set of notes for the purpose of academic dishonesty.

Cheating by Hariadhi, CC BY-SA 3.0

In the beginning…

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is just another way to lie, cheat, steal, and avoid the hard work of writing, creating, or composing original work.  At least that was my initial thoughts before spending any serious amount of time reading about, or understanding how it actually worked.  Like many teachers my first serious introduction to the use of AI was seeing my colleagues in the English department thrown into utter turmoil by the deluge of ChatGPT generated essays being submitted as original work.  This cemented the idea that generative AI was merely a new way of engaging in dishonesty, much like cheating on an exam, or paying someone else to do your homework.

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When Lawyers Attack – AI Insights from our Friends in the Legal Profession

Scale of justice 2.svg by DTRPublic Domain

I have to admit that when I started researching the ethical considerations of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) my first instinct was to stick with education databases.  After all, I am an educator; teaching, learning, and curriculum are in my wheel house.  However the more that I thought about the ethical issues surrounding the development and use of AI the more apparent that it became that I needed to expand my search.  So I started searching law libraries (and their associated online collections) and was hit with a figurative landslide of material addressing a myriad of issues.  Lawyers across the world have been grappling with the ramifications of these new technologies and have sent me down a rabbit hole exploring bias, government policy, and intellectual property.

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Better Late than Never…

Waiting by Edgar DegasPublic Domain

The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With a 3 Week Late Blog Post

September is busy time in the life of the teacher.  Classes need prepping, coffee needs consuming, and major projects on Artificial Intelligence (AI) need researching.  Two of these things began in earnest over a month ago, and the other didn’t get a serious start until this long weekend.

Welcome to the blog where I intend to regale you with tales of my progress toward the completion of my EC&I 832 major project: Exploring Generative AI and Ethical Digital Citizenship.  So what have I been up to so far?  Mostly stumbling through academic readings while I try to wrap my head around the topic.  However some insights have been gained and interesting articles found.

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