Upcoming Events

AILA’s Spring Learning & Discussion Series

The Antimony of Artificial Art | A Talk by Professor Joseph Moore

THIS Thursday, April 11 @ 2:30 pm | Location: Paino Lecture Hall, Beneski 107

The rise of Artificial Intelligence and its application to the creative and artistic fields has given us all much to think about. In this event, part of AILA Spring 2024 Learning & Discussion Series, Professor Joseph G. Moore presents his latest paper, The Antimony of Artificial Art, on AI and the possibilities of creative legal authorship. Click to learn more and read the abstract! The event is open to students, staff, faculty, and alumni throughout the Five Colleges.

AILA 2024 Undergraduate Conference: Exploring the Intersection of AI in the Arts, Humanities, and Beyond

The 2024 AI in the Liberal Arts (AILA) Undergraduate Conference promises to be more than just a conference; it’s a convergence of curious minds eager to explore the under-researched aspects of AI that are currently shaping and reconfiguring our world. With panels on topics like AI & Society, Human/AI Interactions, and Technical Approaches to Artificial Intelligence our presenters come from a wide variety of disciplines. Whether you’re considering the impact or function of AI in your academic discipline for the first time or are well on your way to becoming an expert, we invite you to come listen, learn, and connect. We welcome all folks in our Five Colleges community to attend. Click to learn more!

Beyond the Page: Unraveling the Complexities of AI, Scaled Reading, and Accessible Learning

A conversation with Ethan Pierce, Founder of Adaptive Reader | Thursday, April 25th, 12 – 1p; Fayerweather 117

As part of AILA’s Spring Learning & Discussion Series, AILA presents an engaging conversation between Jaya Kannan (Director of Technology for Curriculum and Research), Kristina Reardon (Director of the Intensive Writing Program and Lecturer in English), and Ethan Pierce (Founder of Adaptive Reader) on Artificial Intelligence (AI), scaled reading, and making literature accessible to all readers.

This conversation will focus on the realm of teaching and learning and be of most value to members of the Five Colleges community (faculty, staff, and advanced students) who work or aspire to work in an instructional capacity. RSVP here to let us know you’re coming and submit questions for our panelists!

God Human Animal Machine: AI and the Big Questions | A Conversation with Meghan O’Gieblyn & Lee Spector

April 30th @ 6:00p in Cole Assembly Room, Amherst College, MA

On Tuesday, April 30, 2024 AI in the Liberal Arts is pleased to welcome author, essayist, and deep-thinker, Meghan O’Gieblyn. She will be joined in conversation by AILA’s founder, Lee Spector, in an evening of conversation about some of the big questions raised in her book: God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning.

The event is open to the public and will be held in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 @6pm. We can’t wait to see you there!

New Learning Resources from AILA’s Tools & Mentorship Team

Over the course of the semester AILA’s Tools & Mentorship Team will be rolling out learning resources to help our community get a better grasp on all things AI. These tutorials, discussions, and demos will be available on the AILA YouTube Channel alongside recordings of our virtual and in-person events this semester.

Today, we are featuring a video on Computer Vision, brought to you by Ali Sbeih, a member of our AI in the Liberal Arts Tools Team.

Featured AI News

It’s hard to keep up with all the AI-related News these days, but here are a couple stories that have us thinking and discussing. Let us know what AI News stories have you riveted!

AI and Hope for the Middle Class?

New York Times, April 1, 2024

Despite its publication date, this article is not an April Fool’s joke. David Autor, a labor economist at MIT, presents a transformative view on AI’s impact on labor. Historically critical of technology’s effect on worker incomes, Autor now believes that generative AI could rejuvenate the middle-skill, middle-class workforce. He suggests AI can democratize high-skill jobs, offering middle-class uplift by enabling more individuals to perform complex tasks. This shift, contingent on appropriate use and corporate policies, challenges the

narrative of AI as solely a job killer, proposing a complementary role for technology in enhancing worker productivity and broadening career paths.

Read it here and tell us what you think!

Discussion grows on the diminishing returns of training ever-larger AI models

Marcus on AI Substack, April 8, 2024

While we don’t usually get all our news from Substack, this story seemed worth highlighting. In a recent substack post, AI critic Gary Markus (and Hampshire College alum) discusses a recent “preprint” article that suggests data scaling—building bigger LLMs—is rapidly approaching the point of diminishing returns, putting Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) further out of reach. Click to read the substack post and tell us what you think!

Don’t forget to check out some of our latest blog posts and leave your comments and reflections to keep the conversation going!

AILA Recommended Reads

Engaging an interdisciplinary community of participants in discussions and activities about AI requires we stay in the know. Check out some of the books our AILA Team is reading and discussing together.

AI and Humanity

By Illah Reza Nourbakhsh and Jennifer Keating | MIT Press, 2020

Although originally developed as an interdisciplinary humanities textbook for courses at Carnegie Mellon, this text offers readers a remarkably accessible and engaging discussion of the effects of rapidly evolving technology systems like artificial intelligence on society. Not only does it provide an historical overview of these technologies, but is also encourages readers to think

about the language we use to discuss and describe technology and our relationships with it. Keating is a scholar of literature and culture, while Nourbakhsh is a computer scientist. Together, they identify and define a set of keywords that connect and drive our considerations of technology and our social world. Click to read more!

Featured AI Tool

Our AI Mentorship and Tools team is always exploring new applications of AI. Here we feature some of our favorites. Please explore these tools freely with your personal account, but be mindful of bias, accuracy, content ownership, and use of personally identifiable information with these tools. Institutions are evaluating the use and configuration of AI-based tools, so please check with your IT department before using these tools with college or institutional systems or data.

Otter.ai is an AI note taking assistant tool that is primarily used for meetings, recordings, classes, and other forms of visual media. Did you forget what happened at that 1 hour meeting that you attended? Otter.ai can provide you with automatic notes and summaries of the event, and is equipped with many useful productivity features such as to-do lists. You can also chat with Otter.ai by asking specific questions about what happened during a meeting or event. This information remains in its database, so you can always refer back to Otter.ai when you are in need of information from a meeting, at any time! In a time where online meetings, lectures, and videos are increasingly prominent in exchanging information, Otter.ai is an essential tool to boost your productivity and make the most out of your attendance in these events.

Otter.ai, as a paid service, collects some of your personal information (email, device, etc.) as well as information from linked third parties, such as your Google account. Additionally, Otter.ai is able to access some data pertaining to other people in a meeting who may not necessarily use the service. Otter.ai is, however, committed to data privacy and complies with the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework, adhering to strict constraints surrounding the usage of personal data and certain standards of data privacy.

Security & Privacy Rating: 🔐🔐

purple background ai letter AI in the Liberal Arts logo.

The Artificial Intelligence in the Liberal Arts initiative at Amherst College aims to engage a broad, interdisciplinary community of participants in discussions and activities related to artificial intelligence, exploring and facilitating multi-way interactions between work in artificial intelligence and work across the liberal arts. Our newsletter contains the latest AI-related events, tools, scholarship, and news in AI.