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1: Teaching AI Ethics- Original Post

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    As we head into the start of Term 1 it’s already looking like Artificial Intelligence is going to be one of the most talked about issues in the classroom. Much of the narrative around models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT has centred on students using it to cheat on assignments. But I’ve already been working with schools this year who are much more interested in the potential of these technologies to help, rather than hinder in education.

    Earlier this week I wrote a post with some Practical Strategies for ChatGPT in Education. It’s proven to be one of the most popular posts I’ve written on this blog, showing that there’s an appetite from teachers wanting to learn how to work with the AI. I also wrote a “Back to Basics” post for those who had never heard of ChatGPT, or wanted some grounding in AI and Large Language Models before diving in.

    And yet, as much as I enjoy working with the technology, it has many flaws. I think it’s our responsibility to discuss the ethical considerations of AI with our students. AI ethics goes beyond the well-documented “algorithmic bias” that results in language models like ChatGPT producing racist and sexist output. In this article, I will explore nine ethical considerations ranging from “beginner” to “intermediate” and “advanced” levels.

    I’ve levelled the concerns for two reasons. Firstly, the levels reflect how easy it is to access information and resources on the particular ethical concern, and how likely the concepts are to already fit within your curriculum. For example, “environmental impact” is a beginner-level concern as it has been explored thoroughly in the media, and the climate crisis is already part of many curricula. Secondly, as you move through the levels you and your students will be required to understand and apply increasingly complex concepts and terminology. “Affect recognition” in the advanced level, for instance, requires some knowledge of facial recognition and the psychology of human emotions.

    For each level I’ve also included a few examples of how and where you could teach students about these issues. Right now, there is no “AI curriculum” for schools. There is no single subject area devoted to Artificial Intelligence. In fact, AI already influences most aspects of our lives, so it is fitting that we should teach AI ethics across all of our subject areas. The links embedded throughout this post are there to use as resources, and for going further down the rabbit hole.


    1: Teaching AI Ethics- Original Post is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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