Maryland Today: ‘Beyond the Field’ Homecoming Address Takes on Promise—and Risks—of AI (ft. Jen Golbeck)

Maryland Today Staff | UMD - October 10, 2023

Systems Are Subject to Same Biases, Truthfulness Challenges as Society at Large

Photo of Jen Golbeck

Photo of Dr. Jen Golbeck

Whether it’s tips for successful shortbread, wording for a nice apology for backing over a neighbor’s flowers or a backgrounder on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the latest chatbots have you covered.

Or do they?

Beneath the speedy answers and know-it-all veneer, these extraordinary new systems—from ChatGPT to Microsoft’s Bing Chat to Google’s Bard—are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and far from infallible, said computer scientist and University of Maryland (UMD) College of Information Studies (INFO) Professor Jen Golbeck, who delivered the Beyond the Field address on Monday afternoon for the UMD Homecoming 2023.

“It learns to replicate past decision-making, and that means it learns to imitate all of our biases and the problems we’re trying to overcome in society,” said Golbeck, a prominent expert on artificial intelligence, social media algorithms and malicious online behavior.

In the address, she discusses how to ensure the rise of powerful AI—whether on display in chatbots or buried in mortgage loan software—helps solve the world’s most pressing problems and enriches our lives, rather than creating growing inequality and digital threats to privacy.

Watch the Beyond the Field Address:

Article originally published by Maryland Today on Octobery 10, 2023.