Beyond Artificial Intelligence: Take a Look at Arts Integration Too

(May 23, 2024)

Tech Policy 

The federal government is investing in AI resources at universities. At the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, where I teach, The National Center for Supercomputing Applications launched one of the National Science Foundation’s pilot programs, the National Artificial Intelligent Resource (NAIRR). It “aims to connect US researchers and educators to computational, data, and training resources needed to advance AI research and research that employs AI.” Even the National Endowment for the Humanities has issued a call for proposals for the establishment of centers which focus on AI and the Humanities, giving special emphasis to “scholarly activities on exploring the ethical, legal, or societal implications of AI.”

Humanists are well-positioned for this call. Scholars of history and literature have a longstanding interest in the information sciences dating well before AI. And scientists in one 2021 report, alert to the negative societal implications of machine learning, cite research in the humanities and sciences alike which weighs the risks of large-scale language modeling and supports careful curation practices over “ingesting everything on the web.”

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