Introducing Canada’s first micro-credential in AI ethics
Four-course program to help professionals and companies develop responsible AI
PowerED™ by Athabasca University and Ethically Aligned AI have launched Canada’s first micro-credential in AI ethics.
Artificial Intelligence Ethics is a four-course program that delivers foundational skills needed to address issues around the ethical development of AI systems. Courses include an Introduction to AI Ethics, Data, Machine Learning Models, and Roboethics.
As AI continues to expand into ordinary everyday business, ethical issues in AI will continue to grow. Examples of this range from privacy and consent to the use of data, biased datasets and models that can create discriminatory outcomes to bigger questions about how AI will impact jobs, human relationships, and the way society operates.
“We’re already seeing the widespread impact of AI gone wrong, from facial recognition systems that don’t work well for people of colour to job recruitment systems that discriminate against women,” said Katrina Ingram, CEO of Ethically Aligned AI, a social enterprise dedicated to helping companies develop responsible AI.
“We’re already seeing the widespread impact of AI gone wrong.”– Katrina Ingram, CEO of Ethically Aligned
“As companies rush to build AI-enabled solutions, they need to ensure that they are making responsible choices,” she said. “Unfortunately, ethics as it relates to artificial intelligence requires greater training in ethical decision making, where most of the workforce today has no educational background in this area.”
Online micro-credential for working professionals
The micro-credential courses are delivered fully online and asynchronously, meaning learners can study at their own pace. They are designed to provide working professionals with a flexible, accessible learning environment. Each course can be completed in two to four weeks of part-time study.
“Our courses are designed as just-in-time microlearning modules to help learners get meaningful results they can apply to their workplace challenges immediately,” said Jessica Scott, director of PowerED™. “AI ethics is an emerging area and we’re excited to be offering this first-of-its-kind program in a field that will have widespread impact.”
“AI ethics is an emerging area and we’re excited to be offering this first-of-its-kind program in a field that will have widespread impact.”– Jessica Scott, director of PowerED by Athabasca University
The program includes interviews with global industry experts including representatives from leading groups such as IEEE and DAMA, computer scientists, business leaders, consultants, and academics.
Some courses also include an AI-based simulation created by the ed-tech firm Ametros. Based on an IBM Watson natural language processing program, the simulation takes learners through an ethical dilemma while also providing an opportunity to critically reflect on the experience of engaging with an AI system.
“We’re not anti-AI,” said Ingram. “We understand the benefits this technology can offer, but we do want people to also fully consider and understand the risks involved in using this technology and to take steps to develop it with greater care. We consider this program to be the tech equivalent of occupational health and safety training.”
The first of the four courses, Artificial Intelligence Ethics: An Introduction, is available now and the full program will be available in early 2022.