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Artificial Intelligence

Google-Supported Effort to Help Develop Courses in Responsible AI

artificial intelligence

The National Humanities Center, and independent institute dedicated to advanced study in the humanities, is partnering with faculty from 15 colleges and universities to create and implement curricula for developing responsible artificial intelligence technologies. The goal: to "help students comprehend the myriad ways AI technologies are integrated into modern life and to think through the ethical issues involved in developing and deploying them," according to a news announcement. The initiative is supported by a gift from Google.

In June 2022, participating faculty from Arizona State University, George Mason University, Texas A&M University, Bowdoin College, Johnson C. Smith University, University of California Santa Cruz, Case Western Reserve University, North Carolina State University, University of Florida, Davidson College, Rice University, University of Georgia, Duke University, Swarthmore College and the University of Utah will convene for a weeklong NHC institute to discuss the social and cultural implications of AI and best practices for engaging with the topic in the classroom. They will develop courses — complete with course descriptions, learning goals and syllabi — that will be offered for credit to undergraduates at their home institutions. Faculty will receive a stipend for their two-year commitment (from curriculum design in 2022-2023 to course instruction in 2023-2024), and their home university will receive a stipend for course support. The NHC will also provide ongoing curriculum design support and facilitation.

"Considered together, these courses will offer insights into the emerging role of artificial intelligence in our world, and the part post-secondary institutions can play in preparing students to assess the impact and value of those technologies," the NHC explained on the project website.

The faculty will return to the NHC in spring/summer 2024 to "assess the impact of the courses on their campuses and to make recommendations for wider dissemination and future phases," the institute said.


The Campus Technology Insider podcast recently spoke with Amanda Stent, inaugural director of Colby College's David Institute for Artificial Intelligence, about incorporating AI into a wide variety of disciplines. Listen to "Why AI Needs the Liberal Arts" here.

"Artificial intelligence has infiltrated the ways we conduct business, govern and communicate," said Robert D. Newman, president and director of the National Humanities Center, in a statement. "The large-scale cultural and societal implications associated with these changes — as well as the ethical questions they raise — pose serious challenges as well as opportunities …. We see the role of the humanities as crucial to the efficacious implementation of artificial intelligence."

For more information on the Responsible Artificial Intelligence Curriculum Design Project, visit the NHC site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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