Discussion ● Anya Salzman
We must dare to devise a research policy that touches on the deep-seated cultural conflicts in academia, writes Anja Salzmann.
in Debate From 30 June, Vice-Chancellor Pinar Heijernes and Rector Margarete Hagen at the University of Bergen (UiB) discuss what is important and necessary for Norway and the Norwegian research landscape to succeed in meeting digital intelligence and especially artificial intelligence (AI)-based future-focused.
It is highlighted That interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration is indispensable for digitization and the use of AI to develop in a good direction. Moreover, they indicated that it is necessary to train a sufficient number of competent ICT experts at all academic levels (especially at the master’s and doctoral level) and to promote basic research on ICT topics. Both consider this “crucial for Norway to be able to succeed with AI.”
I’m not I don’t agree with this analysis, but I think it misses some important aspects.
Generative AI models Like ChatGPT or Midjourney, which became available to the general public in November 2022, it has taken the attention of a global audience by storm. The public debate is characterized as partly driven by anxiety, while also attesting to an increased focus with political and commercial power on AI. This is not surprising, since the launch of artificial intelligence models such as ChatGPT marked a turning point in digital history.
Many people Concerned about the technology’s potential for simulation and manipulation, others feel that the entire workplace or profession is threatened, as AI is able to automate cognitive work processes. Public authorities, companies, and educational and research institutions worry about missing the train to the future if you fall asleep while developing artificial intelligence. Interests and interest are certainly where they are, as technology’s entry into society requires everyone to make well-considered, long-term and preferably wise choices – in a very short time.
In light of UiB’s research policy strategy for competency and study programs in the digital age, one might ask if the AI train is moving in the right direction?
Taking into account the UiB Research Policy Strategy for Proficiency and Study Programs In the digital age, one might ask if the AI train is moving in the right direction? Is it wiser to focus on quantitative objectives when it comes to training ICT experts (“sufficiently competent”, “at all levels”) rather than training specially qualified ICT experts? That is, experts who bring together different skills to handle the increasingly complex, partially autonomous IT systems (“black boxes”) that are used in and in complex social and technical ecosystems?
Worded differently: will The democratization of ICT expertise and basic knowledge will eventually lead to competent digital natives and to competent and responsible IT professionals or data scientists who develop, install and operate AI systems in this country (particularly in social contexts) with care and humility? Does this mean that future IT developers and IT users are qualified to take into account the fundamental rights, creative irrationality of people and the cultural uniqueness of Norway?
Beyond that, it represents This stated ICT competency is in fact knowledge and experience that (cannot) be easily replaced by the use of various generative AI models? Feel free to read about the experiences here Aftenposten technology journalist Per Kristian Bjørkeng.
there is nobody I doubt that technologies like artificial intelligence touch the very foundations of society. So I think the research policy approach cannot be so simple and equate to more ICT competency for people and more basic research on ICT.
from european And a responsibility-focused research perspective (keywords responsible research and innovation), it also means the processes of change for the ICT subjects themselves, which must then become more human-centered in order to be able to understand their limitations in the face of complexity, irrationality and, not least, the inability to Prediction like social systems and processes. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.
to succeed With digitization, we must overcome the struggle that has long marked the Western research landscape, also here in Norway. famous speech “the two cultures” by the English academic C.B. Snow, from 1959, has his finger on it. Snow identifies here two different academic cultures, and believes that the division between the natural sciences (today classic MINT subjects) and the humanities is a fundamental obstacle for science (in the Western tradition) to be able to solve humanity’s greatest challenges.
There is a lot of potential in digital technologies for To solve major challenges and revolutionize many professional fields. Heggernes and Hagen do point out that AI leads to a number of “good outcomes”, “scientific advances” and opportunities for “innovation, efficiency, often democratization and increased access to services”, but it is still relevant to ask whether we Humans end up using the same technologies in a mostly responsible, reasonable and not least sustainable way? And if the one-dimensional ruling belief and reduction in numbers and technology do not overwhelm alternative solutions and future utopias?
I mean too That neither democracy nor digitization should be an end in itself. As a social scientist and as a human being living in a material world, I am aware that there are a number of areas in life that I do not want to be simplified or digitised. Moreover, we have to ask ourselves what is meant by “digitization contributes to democratization”? What is actually being democratized – and for whom?
Use ChatGPT It may democratize the production of text and content and provide audiences with unprecedented opportunities for creative manipulation, but it does not necessarily advance our rights as citizens or the trust in each other that democracies depend on.
democratization through The use of technology differs from democracy as a political idea and governance model.
that we succeed Therefore, responsible and sustainable digitalization requires more than “interdisciplinary collaboration”, “basic research in ICT” or “good collaboration between research, education, business and the public sector”. It is primarily required that we focus on people and the environment (in interaction with technology). It also means that one dares to innovate a research policy that touches on the deep-rooted cultural conflicts in academia, the current institutional and professional routine, but also the different views on what counts as knowledge and who should be involved in the process of knowledge production.
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