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New Centre for AI Ethics, Literacy and Integrity offers students support in using generative AI

By Kimberly Taylor, June 6 2024—

In response to widespread questions around using generative artificial intelligence (AI), the University of Calgary’s Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR) and the Werklund School of Education have collaborated to launch the Centre for AI Ethics, Literacy and Integrity (CAIELI) as a place for students of all disciplines to come with questions and get support in building AI skills.

“The Centre’s innovative programs harness the power of AI to personalize learning and empower students to excel. We aim to cultivate strong digital and information literacy skills that will pave the way for academic success across disciplines,” reads a statement from the CAIELI website. 

In an interview with the Gauntlet LCR Associate University Librarian, Student Learning and Engagement, Leanne Morrow said the centre is developing in response to the rise of generative AI and student interest.

“Lots of students are curious. They want to know, what are we doing here? How does the university feel about this? What tools are out there?” said Morrow.  “[The centre] definitely is going to fill a gap around that basic foundational understanding around AI and the literacy needed to navigate it effectively.”

Morrow explained that programming is already available online through the centre’s website, while the physical space is currently undergoing renovations. The centre will be located in the Doucette Library and will have drop-in hours as well as a feature screen for students to share their AI work.

“Online the programming is up and running, but the physical space is being remodeled. We’re taking it step by step; I saw that there is an immediate need to get programming out there. Slowly the physical space and remodel will come over spring summer and be up and running hopefully for the fall. One of the things I want to have in there is a feature screen that’s solely dedicated to student projects.”

Some upcoming online workshops include “Creating Effective Prompts Using GenAI” on June 13 and “Transcribing Audio with OpenAI’s Whisper” on June 20. Morrow said that the centre will have peer to peer support beginning in the fall.

Morrow explained that the centre is for any student that has any questions about using AI and will be a place for dialogue as well as learning.

“It’s for every student out there that has a question about using AI.”  Morrow continued, “I hope it will become a place where students will be able to come and share their ideas with each other around creating with AI, and the use of AI. I want students to feel comfortable enough and feel that it’s a place they can go and ask an uncomfortable question.”

According to Morrow, the development of the centre has been transdisciplinary and includes the input of experts, student researchers supported by the Students’ Union Quality Money program and student groups on campus. 

“I have a Student Union Quality Money grant with two first year [medical] students around democratizing AI on campus and they have a lot of ideas around how we make sure everybody on campus has resources and tools and access to understanding around AI,” said Morrow. “What they’ve brought to the centre is a really good connection to student groups on campus as well.”

While generative AI is new, Morrow believes that the librarians at the centre have experience helping researchers and students use emerging technologies.

“We’re out there teaching students how to navigate information and online resources for decades.”

Morrow highlighted that the centre is a place for learning, creating and transforming regardless of how much experience or knowledge someone may have about AI.

“Come in and look at the options for developing skills in areas that you might not have thought needed skills development. It is a place where [students] can come for skill development, but also, they can come with crazy questions that they might not feel comfortable asking other people on campus.

Spring and summer semester workshops are available through the centre’s website, while questions about using AI or inquiries for participating in focus groups can be sent to Morrow directly.

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