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Summer Training Program to Expand the Al and Data Ethics Research Community

08/09/19 - BOSTON, MA. - xxx on August 09, 2019. Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

This summer school is intended for graduate students with advanced training in applied ethics, ethical theory, philosophy of science, or other areas with potential research applications to AI and big data who would like to develop research capacities in the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI), data ethics, and the philosophy of technology.  Designing AI and machine learning systems to promote human flourishing in just and sustainable ways will require a robust and diverse AI and data ethics research community. However, there are few graduate programs that train students in these areas. The aim of this summer long, in person training program is to supplement resources in students’ home universities with ethical and technical skills necessary to research in this area.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Prof. John Basl, j.basl@northeastern.edu

Program Details

The core objectives of the summer program are to:

  • Introduce participants to core philosophical and ethical issues in AI and big data systems;
  • Mentor students in developing their technical capacities and philosophical research skills so that they can produce quality research in this area;
  • Provide professional development opportunities to prepare participants to engage in interdisciplinary research internal and external to academia;
  • Foster a collaborative and diverse community of AI and data ethics researchers. 

Participants in the program will join us in Boston for a 10-week funded residential summer school. During the ten weeks, participants will engage in core program components, including:

  • An ethics and philosophy of technology seminar on foundational topics and current issues in AI and data ethics lead by experts in the field;
  • Professional development workshops on topics such as public-facing scholarship, developing grants/funding proposals, building collaborations with external partners such as industry, and inclusive mentoring;
  • An expert speaker and networking series with senior and early career researchers working in the field;
  • Faculty-supported and mentored research projects related to AI and data ethics.

Participants are expected to spend the bulk of the program in residence in Boston. Program components will be run on a Monday-Thursday schedule, leaving participants weekends to explore Boston and the surrounding area.  

Participants in the program will receive a combined stipend of $12,000 for the program period to cover room, board, and travel.

Details about on campus housing options will be sent to accepted applicants, and participants can elect to live off campus if they prefer.

Applications are due on January 10th, 2023.

Applicants should be graduate students in good standing in MA or PhD programs in philosophy or related areas. Some background in philosophical methodology and/or ethical theory is a requirement of the program. 

To apply to the program, please submit the following documents:

  • A CV that includes, at least, prior program(s) of study with year(s) of completion, current program of study with expected year of completion, graduate level courses successfully completed, any presentations, and any published or forthcoming articles;
  • A statement of interest in the program, including: prior philosophical preparation relevant to the program; technical background in computer science, data science, statistics, or formal methods, if any; and how your potential participation in the program will help to foster a diverse and inclusive AI and data ethics research community;
  • A writing sample that showcases the applicant’s scholarship. This does not need to be on a topic related to the themes of the program;
  • The name and contact info of a person who can offer a short recommendation on your behalf. You should choose someone who can speak to your interests and previous work, and who can describe why they believe you are a good candidate for the program. 

We expect to contact applicants about decisions in February 2023. 

For additional information or if you have any questions about the program, please contact Prof. John Basl, j.basl@northeastern.edu 

Funding for this program is provided by the National Science Foundation (Award Number: 2147220), Northeastern’s Ethics Institute, Institute for Experiential Robotics, Institute for Experiential AI, and College of Social Sciences and Humanities. 

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