GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida joins a select group of institutions nationwide in a new National Humanities Center initiative to design college-level curriculum that explores how to develop and deploy ethical artificial intelligence technologies.
With support from Google, faculty from 15 universities in the center’s “Responsible AI” program will create and implement courses that help students think through the ways in which AI technologies are integrated into everyday life and how to design AI that fosters equity across business, government and society.
A top-ranked public university, UF is hiring 100 faculty focused on AI and is the first university in the country to introduce AI curriculum across disciplines to equip graduates for the workplace of the future. Further, as a result of the public-private partnership between UF and Silicon Valley-based technology company NVIDIA, UF is home to one of the most powerful supercomputers in higher education, known as HiPerGator, and more than 6,000 students are currently enrolled in AI or data science courses.
UF’s collaboration in the center’s “Responsible AI” program underscores the value of incorporating the humanities in the study of AI, as faculty from these fields bring insights into morality, history, ethics and critical thinking, said Joe Glover, UF’s provost and senior vice president of academic affairs.
“We aim to ensure all students at the University of Florida have the opportunity to engage with AI technology in their journeys as scholars and future professionals in an AI-enabled workforce,” Glover said. “This partnership with the National Humanities Center is a powerful step forward in further positioning UF faculty and students as prominent voices in the national conversation about developing ethical, equitable AI technologies to help solve the planet’s most pressing problems.”
As AI technologies increasingly infiltrate aspects of everyday life, such as transportation, hiring practices, policing, medicine and even art, the humanities are a crucial component in discussions of how to design and use AI ethically, said Barbara Mennel, the Rothman Chair and director of UF’s Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.