Efforts to Regulate A.I.

I have not posted here in a while because of conferences, in-service, travel, and other local elearning events – it was a whirl-wind summer of AI in Education, a conference at University of Central Florida. We then presented with our new found expertise at a nursing deans conference, and are working on AI initiatives on campus including a summer AI Faculty Institute. I have been attempting to take a measured approach, looking at the ethics, accessibility, data privacy, climate impacts, racism, etc. But that does not seem to be a popular take on all of this. I am interested in really examining it in order to push for a truly open and transparent version of these kinds of tools that are geared towards education rather than profit.

There has been some movement in regulation on A.I. in the form of one step forward and then two steps backwards. UNESCO has had some interesting discussions, meetings, and publications, but I am waiting for something with more teeth. It is important though to get the principles we are talking about down.  It is ridiculous to think that we can’t agree on this because we may not be in agreement with all of the principles.

I am impressed with how fast Joe Biden got something together. The teeth in this one are pointing in the right direction: make the ethical principles be required for federal funding. Hit them in the pocket book. It will take state governments years to get a statement down that will mean anything. This started last October with the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights (the rights are for us, not the AI).

The sad thing is that we have safeguards in place for student data (FERPA) and for accessibility, yet the onus for protecting students is on the schools and faculty – not the ed tech corporations. Again and again, ed tech companies build and sell products that end up selling student information to data brokers and/or not being accessible. Pretty much the same scenario is playing out here. Rishi Sunak hosted the international AI summit and his big message was that it needs to be regulated but not at the expense of “innovation” (innovation = corporate profits).

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