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Berkeley Talks: The transformative potential of AI in academia

By Public Affairs

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In an October 2023 panel discussion, UC Berkeley professors from the College of Letters and Science discussed the transformative potential of AI in academia, and the challenges and questions it poses. From left: Moderator Marion Fourcade, professor of sociology; Josh Bloom, professor of astronomy; Alex Saum-Pascual, associate professor of contemporary Spanish literature; and Keanan Joyner, assistant professor of psychology.
Brandon Sánchez Mejia/UC Berkeley

In Berkeley Talks episode 186, a panel of UC Berkeley scholars from the College of Letters and Science discusses the transformative potential of artificial intelligence in academia — and the questions and challenges it requires universities and other social institutions to confront. 

"When it comes to human-specific problems, we often want fair, equitable, unbiased answers," said Keanan Joyner, an assistant professor of psychology. "But the data that we feed into the training set often is not that. And so, we are asking AI to produce something that it was never trained on, and that can be very problematic. We have to think very carefully about how we're training our AI models and whether they'll be useful or not. I think there's so many awesome uses of AI, and I'm going to use it in my own work, and it's going to definitely infuse psychological science and social sciences more broadly." 

Panelists of the October 2023 Berkeley event included:

This discussion is part of the L&S Salon Series, which showcases the diversity and range of academic disciplines embedded across the five divisions in the College of Letters and Science. Watch a video of the discussion.

Listen to other Berkeley Talks episodes: