Why Researchers Believe in Presenting AI Course to Communications Students?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 13:08

Researchers believe that journalism and communications students must be versed in artificial intelligence to be able to report on the changes being wrought.

According to Jack Lule, Iacocca Professor and Chair of the Department of Journalism & Communication at Lehigh University and Craig Gordon, founder and managing director of Blueshift Research and a Lehigh alumnus (Class of '76), Understanding AI will also enable future media professionals to function in a news ecosystem in which robots now write some of the news.

At the 5th annual World Journalism Education Conference in Paris next week, Lule and Gordon will present their ideas about how artificial intelligence can be incorporated into an unlikely venue: the introductory, first-year mass communications class, Phys.org reports.

"We set out to find ways that educators like ourselves—not versed in computer science—could incorporate artificial intelligence early in the journalism curriculum," says Lule. "We want to prepare students to not only be able to report on the transformations being wrought by AI, but also equip them to help shape its future for both society at large and the field of journalism."

"Here, we plant the idea with our students that people from different fields, such as philosophy, psychology, law, ethics and journalism can help shape and direct AI to lessen its threat," says Lule. "AI professionals, whose training is in software and hardware, are not often equipped to comprehend the social, psychological and cultural implications of AI."

"We are hoping that our colleagues at WJEC will see that they don't have to have Ph.D.s in computer science to talk about AI and other technological advances," adds Lule. "Every day, journalists interact with, question and learn from people in many far-flung fields. Journalism students should be given the confidence to take on AI as well."

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