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‘Beyond the Field’ Homecoming Address Takes on Promise—and Risks—of AI

Systems Are Subject to Same Biases, Truthfulness Challenges as Society at Large

By Maryland Today Staff

Whether it’s tips for successful shortbread, wording for a nice apology for backing over a neighbor’s flowers or a backgrounder on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the latest chatbots have you covered.

Or do they?

Beneath the speedy answers and know-it-all veneer, these extraordinary new systems—from ChatGPT to Microsoft’s Bing Chat to Google’s Bard—are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and far from infallible, said computer scientist and Professor of Information Studies Jen Golbeck, who delivered the Beyond the Field address on Monday afternoon for Homecoming 2023.

“It learns to replicate past decision-making, and that means it learns to imitate all of our biases and the problems we’re trying to overcome in society,” said Golbeck, a prominent expert on artificial intelligence, social media algorithms and malicious online behavior.

In the address, she discusses how to ensure the rise of powerful AI—whether on display in chatbots or buried in mortgage loan software—helps solve the world's most pressing problems and enriches our lives, rather than creating growing inequality and digital threats to privacy.



Schools & Departments:

College of Information Studies

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