“We are AI” series by NYU Tandon Center for Responsible AI and Queens Public Library helps citizens take control of tech
The Center for responsible AI at NYU Tandon, in partnership with Queens Public Library and P2PU, to launch an in-person five-week course “We are AI”, to give citizens a primer on AI and empower them to advocate for policies that prevent its abuses.
BROOKLYN, New York, Monday, March 14, 2022 – We Are AI is a five-week course run as a learning circle by Peer-to-Peer University (P2PU). The goal of the course, which kicks off on March 24, 2022 is to introduce the general public to the basics of artificial intelligence (AI), discuss some of the social and ethical dimensions of its use in modern life, and empower individuals to engage with how AI is used and governed. No math, programming skills, or existing understanding of AI are required!
The in-person We Are AI program is offered by the Center for Responsible AI (R/AI) in partnership with Queens Public Library, one of the New York City public library systems. It will be led by Julia Stoyanovich, professor of computer science and engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, professor of data science at the NYU Center for Data Science, and director of NYU R/AI; and Eric Corbett, a Smart Cities postdoctoral research associate at Tandon’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (NYU CUSP).
AI systems, whose decision-making processes are invisible to the public, increasingly determine what we read, what we buy, the entertainment we are offered, where we work, what kinds of medical care we receive and more. For citizens to have any meaningful influence over how AI is used as a social tool, they must have some familiarity with how these technologies work, their flaws, and where they are deployed.
“Artificial intelligence is used to make high-stakes decisions that affect all of us,” said Stoyanovich. “But too few citizens are aware of the influence of AI in their lives — in fact many are not even aware of the existence of these systems. We partnered with Queens Public Library and P2PU to help citizens get informed, empowered and active in shaping the laws that can determine how these frameworks are used, and also to help us learn how to get even better at teaching these critical subjects.”
Register online to participate in We are AI.
Embedded within the five modules (What is AI, Learning from Data, Who Lives Who Dies Who Decides, All About That Bias, and We Are AI) are a series of 10-minute videos exploring such topics as defining AI, learning from data, ethics in AI, and bias in AI. There is also an innovative, engaging comic book series designed to make this highly complex matter comprehensible to virtually anyone.
The course uses everyday imagery and lay-friendly language to offer a primer on such topics as:
- Algorithms, and how machine learning systems make predictions about the world based on past experience encoded in the data
- Classifiers and how to design them
- Ethics in AI
- Racism and gender bias in decision making AI used in delivering online ads and hiring
“AI continues to profoundly transform the world we live in and it is essential for the public to have a deeper understanding of this powerful tool and the challenges it brings,” said Sharon Myrie, Vice President of Programs and Services at Queens Public Library. “We are thrilled to partner with the New York University Tandon Center for Responsible AI and Peer 2 Peer University to launch this relevant program, helping our customers navigate various aspects of this new technology.”
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About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences as part of a global university, with close connections to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. NYU Tandon is rooted in a vibrant tradition of entrepreneurship, intellectual curiosity, and innovative solutions to humanity’s most pressing global challenges. Research at Tandon focuses on vital intersections between communications/IT, cybersecurity, and data science/AI/robotics systems and tools and critical areas of society that they influence, including emerging media, health, sustainability, and urban living. We believe diversity is integral to excellence, and are creating a vibrant, inclusive, and equitable environment for all of our students, faculty and staff. For more information, visit engineering.nyu.edu.
About Queens Public Library
Queens Public Library is one of the largest and busiest public library systems in the United States, dedicated to serving the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country. An independent, non-profit organization founded 125 years ago, QPL offers free access to a collection of more than 5 million books and other materials in multiple languages, technology and digital resources, and more than 80,000 educational, cultural, and civic programs annually. QPL consists of 66 locations across the borough, including branch libraries, a Central Library, seven adult learning centers, a technology center, and two teen centers, and attracted more than 11 million visitors in 2019.