Artificial Intelligence (AI) has sparked many interesting conversations; everyone is talking about it, including the class at Parami University. Parami undergraduate students had a chance to explore AI-related topics in the First-year Seminar II course and work on comprehensive exercises reflected on the use of AI.
The first-year Seminar II course includes four different classes taught by Dr. Emily O'Dell and Dr. Will Buckingham. The course allows students to explore questions about human knowledge and understanding and ask challenging questions about our knowledge of ourselves, each other, and the world we inhabit. The course aims to equip students to engage more deeply with questions of knowledge, its uses, and its misuses and develop students' critical awareness of different ways of approaching the question of what it means to know. Students get to examine the practice of science and its cultural role as a privileged form of knowledge. They study texts that ask about how science works and how we imagine and reimagine the practice of science.
Here is the highlight of a class exercise students discussing the AI topic from Dr. Emily O'Dell’s class.
Diary Entry about My Cat-like AI Being
Pone Nyet Aung
I decided to create a cat-like AI being for my cat, Curl, a 2-year-old male cat, to get a friend for him and to play with him to get rid of his loneliness. I designed an AI cat with black fur and other appearances that are the same as Curl, even the way the tail curves. The main difference is I put the setting inside the AI cat to obey all the things that were said by its owner, me. I named it Swirl and it turned out like a 2-year-old real male cat with AI features. It also became a good mate for my cat, but one thing is: I put the features that he can understand to be all the things I say, so whenever I say “Stop!” to somebody else in my house, maybe it thought that I am telling it and stopped all the functions it is working on so at those times, my real cat seems like amazed and confused about that AI cat because sometimes it happens during their playtime. Also, when I say the words like “break” maybe in my conversation with my family or with my friends, it tries to break all the things around it. This is the most horrifying thing it does all the time.
I also got scolded by my parents and people from my house because it also did the same things to cause damage to their things. I always have to pay compensation to my brother and sister because of the destruction that my AI cat, Swirl, created. Also, whenever I accidentally articulate words (because I have to say those in my class discussions or conversations with friends) like, “kill,” or “bite,” that AI cat tried to approach Curl, my cat and harm him. So I need to be careful about my words whenever I am talking to avoid those harmful words.
I realize that this is an error that I created and I should have censored or filtered some words while I was creating him. Consequently, it becomes the block to my freedom of speech and kinda, like my creation, is coming home to roost. Therefore, one thing I would like to say to my juniors who might have to do some kind of senior projects as I did, be careful and thoughtful about the things you will create and also be responsible for whatever you will create.
Ye Wint Swe's (aka Lumi's) response:
Dear Pone Nyet,
As the Dean of Kyay Kwal Lu Ngal Myrr University, I would like to address an issue that has recently come to my attention. It has been noticed that you have created an AI cat for your pet with the aim of providing a companion to get rid of its loneliness. I am impressed that the idea of creating an AI being is creative and also innovative. However, I have concerns over some of the unfortunate consequences that happened during the project.
It has been disclosed that your AI cat has been causing damage to people and property when certain words are spoken. You reported that it was an error and you should have created some filter words, but regarding this error and the consequences of your AI cat, your family members, and other people have had troublesome situations, and even your own pet is at more risk.
As an academic institution, we respect the freedom of creativity and innovation, but we also focus on responsibility and reliability in our actions. The impact of your project has significant effects on the AI industry, but it is not your fault. Consequently, it is important to be more careful in your next projects.
I hope this error serves as a reminder of the dangers of invention, but I encourage you to do more research and take more insightful precautions in the future.
L U M I
Parami University Class of 2026 are now in the second semester of their first year. As liberal arts and sciences university students, our students have a great opportunity to explore a broad-based education in multiple disciplines that nurture and empower them to engage in critical thinking and analysis skills.