The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute was born out of the desire to experiment and expand the reach of theological education to the ever expanding relationship between humans and machines.
Built upon the work of the Experimental Humanities Lab and the AI Lab over the 2018 calendar year, the AI Institute received funding from the Henry Luce Foundation in January of 2019. The funding enables the Institute to solidify its commitment to building a trust-based AI ecosystem, build relationships with industry experts, and integrate AI into our curriculum at Iliff. In engaging the AI community in its work, the AI Institute has three primary focus – conversation, curriculum, and code.
“The impetus for entering into this new technology space was driven by the years of research on machine learning by Iliff’s technology team,” said the Institute’s team lead, Dr. Michael Hemenway. “The Institute also speaks to Iliff’s long history of commitment to human flourishing
and building trust based communities.”
In the early 2019, the AI team spent a great amount of time and energy building relationships with AI practitioners both within and beyond the higher education space to foster more significant conversation about the necessity for trust in the AI ecosystem. The team led workshops with entrepreneurs in the Colorado region regarding trust-based approaches to bias management in AI and machine learning development.
On May 2nd, 2019, AIliff launched its Tech Series with an event at the Industry co-working space in the RiNo district, one of Denver’s emerging tech hubs. Five outstanding featured guests from industries including health care, transportation, insurance, network security, and robotics led those present in an engaged and collaborative conversation about the role of trust in our emerging AI ecosystem.
The Institute’s lead AI engineer, Dr. Justin Barber, has also been hard at work preparing models for our AI tutor. As the institute’s core code development project, the AI tutor aims to increase the efficiency and efficacy of the study of religion and related humanities disciplines by tailoring the educational experience to students based upon their particular (cultural, social, economic, etc.) backgrounds, and their strengths and weaknesses in a subject.
“We also hope the AI tutor will diversify the perspectives offered in our courses,” said Barber. Building on several public lectures he has given over the past nine months, the Institute’s senior researcher, Professor Ted Vial, will teach a course for Iliff this coming academic year on theological anthropology in an age of artificial intelligence. “This course will become the first of many curricular offerings we will provide for internal and external audiences around the theme of building a trust based AI ecosystem,” said Vial.
In the coming year, the AI Institute is also planning to partner with the Denver based Humans in Tech group, to host a series of workshops on topics like empathy, transparency, collaboration, and building trust-based cross functional teams.
The team led workshops with entrepreneurs in the Colorado region regarding trust-based approaches to bias management in AI and machine learning development.
On May 2nd, 2019, ai.liff launched its Tech Series with an event at the Industry co-working space in the RiNo district, one of Denver’s emerging tech hubs.