DIID teaching project: Ethical issues in artificial intelligence (AI)

The teaching project “Ethical Issues of Artificial Intelligence (AI)” started in the winter semester 2023/2024. Under the guidance of DIID members Jonathan Seim and Jonas Carstens, HHU students are addressing ethical issues relating to artificial intelligence and developing corresponding workshops for students.

Everyone is talking about AI and it is already having a significant impact on our society. Looking to the future, the discourse is sometimes even talking about a revolution, insofar as it is assumed that AI will fundamentally change our societies. Whether these changes will be equally beneficial for all people also depends on successful ethical reflection. The teaching project focuses on four key topics: Discrimination, media, responsibility and education. In university seminars, philosophy and PPE students will deal with these topics, develop corresponding workshop concepts and then implement them in schools.

The primary objective of the project is to enable a critical approach to AI. Criticism explicitly does not have a negative connotation here, but rather involves examining the technology and its use in terms of both its risks and its opportunities. To this end, general critical core skills are taught on the one hand and AI-specific content on the other. Acquiring a critical approach to AI in turn contributes to a self-determined use of the technology, promotes an inclusive democratic discourse and ultimately fosters human-centred digitalization. All of this applies to both the students and pupils involved.

The teaching project is part of the “Citizens’ University in Teaching” funding line and is funded with around 6,000 euros. As part of four content-related block courses, the basics of the connections between AI and the four key ethical topics will be developed together with the students. The subsequent three didactic block courses are aimed at developing suitable workshop concepts. The workshops will then be held at schools in Düsseldorf, probably at the end of February. The aim is to enable pupils to critically examine the risks and opportunities of technologies and to take a self-determined approach and participate in democratic discourse in an informed manner.

As part of the teaching project, the university becomes a mediator of scientific knowledge, skills and methods and brings this to society, here in the person of the pupils. In this way, the teaching project also lives up to the DIID’s claim of transferring scientific knowledge to society.