Wall Street Journal Reports on SF State's Graduate Certificate in Ethical A.I.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Philosophy Department is proud to be a partner in SF State's pioneering new Graduate Certificate in Ethical Artificial Intelligence (Ethical A.I.), providing SF State graduate students and Bay Area professionals with an opportunity to study a tremendously important and cutting-edge area of inquiry. A few other universities have similar programs, but this is the first to focus primarily on ethics and to involve philosophers as equal partners.

The Wall Street Journal published an article on this new program on May 22, 2019, interviewing Professor Carlos Montemayor, who will teach the first course in the program in Fall 2019.

San Francisco State University is launching a graduate certificate in artificial-intelligence ethics this fall, one of the first programs aimed solely at this issue.

The idea is to expose graduate students and professionals to the social and ethical considerations related to the technology, said Dragutin Petkovic, a computer-science professor at the university who came up with the idea last fall. The school is part of the California State University System and had just under 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled last fall.

Participants must have a bachelor’s degree. The in-person course takes three semesters to complete.

A number of AI certificate programs touch on AI ethics, including those offered by Georgetown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But the San Francisco State program is believed to be unique in that it focuses on ethics, Dr. Petkovic said.

...Carlos Montemayor, an associate professor of philosophy at San Francisco State University, said the program will touch on bias in data used for law-enforcement and credit decisions, as well as how AI creators can work to prevent prevailing biases in society from “seeping into our algorithms and programs.”

The program is an important step because it will educate individual employees, said Corinne Cath, a doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute whose research focuses on the politics and ethics of Internet governance.

Read the full article here.