Artificial Intelligence

What you need to know

Promise and Peril in the Land of Hope, Hype, and Hubris

Course Information:

Class:               Artificial Intelligence: What You Need To Know (37899)

Instructor:       Terry Gray

Days:                2 Wednesdays (ONLINE Lectures), Nov 22 and 29, 2023

  1 Wednesday (IN-PERSON Discussion), Dec 6, 2023

Time:               10:00am -12:00pm

Location: Zoom for the two lecture sessions;  GWY-352 at Edmonds College for the in-person discussion session.
    Note:  The two lecture sessions will be recorded and available for streaming by registered participants thru December.



The study of “Artificial Intelligence” dates to the 1950s, but only this year did AI take the public by storm. The attention began when a program called chatGPT was released.  The result was earthshaking, because the program seemed to exhibit some surprisingly intelligent behaviors, and at the same time illustrated some of the major threats posed by advanced AI systems.

The capabilities and implications of systems such as ChatGPT are extremely controversial.  Some say they represent an existential threat to humanity, and others that the capabilities and threats have been wildly exaggerated --that these are still just algorithms processing massive amounts of data from the Internet to create new documents.  Similar debates surround new AI systems for image and audio processing.

The first week covers some AI history, an overview of different types of AI systems and how they operate, and explanation of key terms.   In the second week, the course delves into the ways AI is already changing the world, for better and worse. Examples include scholarship, automatic programming, songwriting and image creation, advanced robotics, and synthetic companions --accompanied by bias, deep fakes, manipulation and misinformation.   Finally, the course introduces challenging philosophical and ethical questions, and the complexities of current AI policy debates, which are shaping the future of this world-altering technology, and perhaps society as a whole.  An in-person discussion session has been scheduled for the third week, on the Edmonds College campus.

This course is intended for everyone, regardless of their prior knowledge of AI or computers.  Curiosity about the technology shaping our future is the only prerequisite.  The goal is to gain enough knowledge to ask good questions and contribute to AI policy discussions by understanding both sides of the issues.

In the end, participants can expect to gain a well-rounded overview of current AI developments. They'll be equipped to engage in informed conversations and make educated decisions about the technology's impact on society. Enrolling in this course is a unique opportunity to explore the limitless possibilities and potential perils of AI in the company of like-minded individuals.



Week 1 slides below:  (Two PDFs... a one-per-page version, and a printer-friendly 4-up version)

CRI AI Class 2023 -Week1-FINAL+POLL.pdf
CRI AI Class 2023 -Week1-4Up.pdf

Week 2 slides below:  (Two PDFs... a one-per-page version, and a printer-friendly 4-up version)

CRI AI Class 2023 -Week2-Final+Poll.pdf
CRI AI Class 2023 -Week2-Final+Poll-4up.pdf

Video Recordings:  Week 1 (Lecture),    Week 2 (Lecture),    Week 3 (Discussion)

NOTE:  For those who did not register for this class, I invite you to watch the videos, but please consider making a modest donation to CRI...  It's a good program and it needs your support!  You can make a donation HERE