Values Research & Education

Students at the AI & Ethics seminar week, EFA2018 – photo by M. Lowel-Villaneuva

We work at a public University, we have a duty of care towards our future generations, and we take this duty seriously.  For us education means:

“to prepare students to think critically, knowledgeably, reflectively, and empathically  […] to prepare students to integrate diverse perspectives, and understand the cultural and historical contexts that shape present conditions[…] to provide students with an understanding of how responsibility for creating products and systems may be distributed” (The Denver Manifesto, 2017)

To this end, we  have adapted and used our research tools  in educational contexts. These include undergraduate courses in software engineering, workshops for doctoral candidates in cybersecurity,  and international summer school sessions on Artificial Intelligence & Ethics. We are also keen on engaging  with schools and other educational institutions. Examples of how we bring our research to the classroom below.

Values Q-Sort

The Values Q-Sort has been used in the Software Design Studio at Lancaster University as part of a reflective, practice-based software design module for undergraduate students. The exercise was used to spark reflection on team values and was used by each project team to include their own values statement in their project plan.

AI Q-Sort

We modified the Values Q-Sort to apply to Artificial Intelligence using the Asilomar AI Principles as a basis for the statements.  This was used at the European Forum in Alpbach,  Austria  (EFA2018) with 80 undergraduate and postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines as well as in other research contexts, such as the CIRN2018 workshop, Prato, Italy.

AI future thinking SESSIONS
A student experimenting with one our AI-hatchlings – photo from Alpbuzz

At the EFA2018 seminar week we also used design-based thinking and the creation of ‘Alien AI Babies’ to encourage students to imagine and reflect upon potential future AI scenarios.

Values Probes

We have developed  a number of physical artifacts (e.g. the Software Starmap and Personality wallets) and used them in a variety of contexts. We are happy to share their designs under CC agreement  and have them used by fellow academics and researchers.  For example, some of our artifacts have been used at the Active and Assisted Living European Forum, Barcelona, Spain  (AAL2018) to facilitate discussion around the AAL job market. Such artifacts (or ‘probes’) help with the elicitation and capture of complex and abstract notions such as human values.

Get int touch

For more information  or if you would like to use our tools or invite Team ViC to run a workshop, please get in touch with Marie at m.a.ferrario@lancaster.ac.uk.