Stanford University has announced plans to replace its introductory computer science course with a more “academic-relevant” version that aims to “create a more open, inclusive, and collaborative environment” for students.
The move to the new curriculum is the latest sign that the University is considering rethinking the way it teaches undergraduates about artificial intelligence.
In a recent paper, the University’s Technology Policy and Innovation Center outlined how the new version of the course will “address a variety of concerns about artificial cognition, including the potential negative impacts on intellectual freedom and diversity, the need for faculty to maintain academic neutrality, and the need to preserve faculty autonomy.”
Stanford’s new curriculum, which was recently published online, has already sparked controversy, with critics arguing that it lacks adequate diversity and inclusion.
The University has repeatedly said that it plans to remove the language of “intellectual property” from the course, but some students have argued that it still fails to adequately address concerns about how artificial intelligence is used in everyday life.
Stanford’s move comes on the heels of the announcement of a new Stanford program called “Robot Learning: A Future of Artificial Intelligence” that aims at helping students to “develop better, more relevant and ethical robotic systems that will be useful in everyday problems and in the global economy.”
While the new course will not be formally announced until 2018, the Stanford announcement indicates that the university’s plans for the future are more in line with what has been happening in Silicon Valley, where the tech industry is already struggling to find ways to keep its new AI-based technologies under control.
The move comes after Stanford announced plans last month to expand its existing program to include more courses that focus on “the social, ethical, and technological implications of AI,” and also after it announced plans for a new initiative called “The Future of AI” that will focus on the “future of artificial intelligence.”
The new program is expected to take place by the end of 2019, but the exact timeline for the new courses has yet to be announced.