Earlier this week, the DCI hosted a Deliberative Forum on Artificial Intelligence in partnership with Davidson’s Computer Science Department, Digital Studies Department, and Office for Technology and Innovation. Together, we connected Davidson students, faculty, staff, alums, and members of the wider community to discuss how we should think about and interact with the advanced AI systems have been dominating our public discourse about tech since the public release of ChatGPT in November 2022.
Three panelists with very different kinds of AI expertise discussed how we should aim to realate to AI now and in the future. You can watch the whole panel discussion below. All in all, over 130 people participated in the forum, sharing their hopes and fears about the technology’s impact and deliberating together about the role of humans in a world that will be potentially fundamentally transformed by generative AI.
Damien Williams, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Data Science at UNC Charlotte spoke about how awareness of what biases, especially social biases, can arise in AI algorithm training impact the degree to which the outputs of these systems align with just goals and values. Lauren Kahn, Senior Research Analyst at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology discussed ways that AI applications can positively impact national security and state interests, the risks associated with them, and how to develop them with responsible speed. Richard Boyd, CEO of Ultism, talked about AI’s impacts on the private sector. All panelists touched on the importance of working on aligning AI systems with our values and interests, as well as the challenges associated with this task. The panel was moderated by Sara Copic, DCI Assistant Director and affiliate researcher of the UNC Chapel Hill AI Project.
Following the panel discussion, participants deliberated about AI ethics, standards, and policy. These discussion groups were guided by the DCI’s trained facilitators and included a mix of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members who were able to share their questions and thoughts about this new technology.
You can check out a short video of the small group discussions that participants engaged in the video below (less than one minute long). We used Canva’s AI Assistant to help generate the video, and we couldn’t resist leaving in the last two captions that it generated — watch until the end and we bet you’ll get a kick of out of it.
Participation in every DCI program includes access to a Deliberation Guide, a document that provides some background information and practical examples that enable people of all backgrounds to engage with the topics of our programs. Below, you can access our Deliberation Guide that we distributed as part of our Forum on Artificial Intelligence. Although our guides are intended to be used with the help of a trained facilitator, we hope that this document will spark interest for those looking for ways to deepen their understanding of how generative AI works and the special ethical and policy tradeoffs and challenges associated with this technology. If you missed this event, we also hope it will inspire you to participate in our future deliberative forums — we have one coming up on April 2 on Guns in America. More info coming soon…DCI-Deliberation-Guide_Artificial-Intelligence-1