Wednesday, August 17, 2022
HomeFacultyBowdoin Tackles Artificial Intelligence and Ethics in New Class

Bowdoin Tackles Artificial Intelligence and Ethics in New Class


Bowdoin College will be participating in an academic project to develop courses exploring ethical issues raised by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into our everyday lives.

Sponsored by Google and the National Humanities Center (NHC) in North Carolina, the Responsible Artificial Intelligence Curriculum Design Project will provide stipends and academic support for professors teaching courses as part of the program.

“It’s important that we define our objectives and our limitations as we develop this transformative technology so that it effectively promotes the common good,” Assistant Professor of Digital and Computational Studies (DCS) at Bowdoin, Fernando Nascimento, said.

Participants are given one year to create a semester-long class to be taught in the next academic year. Bowdoin students will be able to enroll in the new collaborative course during the 2023–2024 academic year. 

Among the topics to be discussed are ethical issues surrounding Netflix movie recommendations and Zoom virtual backgrounds. The Maine-based college has rounded up a four-member team assigned to create and teach the course. 

Understanding AI 

Growing concerns in academia over the creeping presence of AI in our lives and its possible ramifications gave birth to the project. 

NHC has selected fifteen universities and colleges across the nation to curate courses that dig into different angles of the issue.

“Our selection committee valued the diverse perspectives that different types of higher education institutions would contribute to this project,” NHC Vice President for Education Programs Andy Mink said. “As a small liberal arts college, Bowdoin represents a unique setting with an exceptionally bright and engaged student body. Also, considering Bowdoin’s academic culture, we anticipated that they would fully embrace the interdisciplinary possibilities for this work.”

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