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Purdue Global introducing AI-centered course as curiosity grows

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Posted at 11:04 AM, Dec 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-11 11:04:20-05

WEST LAFAYETTE — The emergence of AI has led to a lot of curiosity, fear and desire to learn for many Americans.

The booming growth of AI, short for artificial intelligence, has led one local university to create a course to help students better understand AI and the ways it can be beneficial.

Purdue Global is introducing the course "Artificial Intelligence Law" next semester to help students understand AI’s legal impact, particularly in the areas of intellectual property, privacy and regulation of the technology itself.

“Law schools should be preparing students not just for the world as it exists today but also for how it is likely to exist in the future,” said Martin Pritkin, dean of the law school. “Purdue Global Law School, which has technological innovation woven into its DNA as the nation’s first fully online law school, seeks to be ahead of the curve in addressing the impact of game-changing AI.”

The course, which will be taught by Shaun Jamison, associate dean for academic affairs, will feature 15 modules that touch on topics such as ethics and governance, plagiarism, AI and criminal justice, and the future of AI and the law.

“One of the best ways that students learn is through critique and self-reflection,” said Shaun Jamison, who created the course with Pritikin. “AI can help by creating an essay answer or an arbitration decision based on a fact scenario, and the student can then critique it. For the reflection part, a student could also run some of their work through AI for critique and feedback in addition to the feedback they get from the professor. We’re also investigating using AI for client interviewing simulations.”

Jamison believes the benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to AI.

“We need to consider the possibility of bias in AI or even where it may not perform as well as we expect,” Jamison said. “That’s why it’s important to have human oversight and quality control of AI. When you use an AI tool, do you know what steps were taken to avoid bias? What data was used? This is important in the law because the law evolves. If we train AI based on discriminatory applications of the law, then the AI will be influenced by this and perpetuate past wrongs.”

Pritikin says the growth of AI is just beginning.

“AI does, or soon will, affect virtually every aspect of our society and our economy — and so does the law," Pritikin said. "Law students and others need to understand how these two critical fields intersect so that they can better navigate the changing legal profession or whatever field they may be in.”

The course will be available to students of the Purdue Global Law School beginning next semester.