What you will study
AI is part of a swathe of recent technologies that have the potential to significantly disrupt societies and cultures, both for good and ill, in ways that are sure to be profound but that are as yet little understood.
Emerging AI technologies, which include smart assistants, speech recognition and chatbots, risk severely misrepresenting society more generally. Without action to address this, they have the potential to disproportionately exacerbate the marginalisation of less-represented groups in society. In this his short course you’ll gain a solid understanding of the applications of language technology across all aspects of the modern workplace, including a focus on responsibility, transparency and fairness.
You’ll learn about the following:
Unit 1: Language technology all around us
Gain an understanding of the historical, social/cultural and political challenges of AI language technologies with a focus on their use in the modern workplace.
Unit 2: Responsibility, transparency and fairness in language technology
Discover the risks associated with the use of language technology, including the potential for bias toward some forms of language. Gain an understanding of the increasing use of such technology in surveillance, with special consideration of how to identify and manage these risks in the workplace.
Unit 3: Applications: Communication interfaces
Focus on questions about how language technologies work and the technical challenges of building technology to communicate successfully with humans.
Unit 4: Language technology in education
Explore a detailed case study on the use of language technology for educational purposes, covering the opportunities, challenges and risks that arise from this.
Unit 5: Designing and evaluating language technology in education
Consider the design and evaluation of language technologies, with a focus on issues such as ethics, accessibility, equality, diversity and inclusiveness, which arise when introducing language technologies into the education workplace.
The material you will encounter has been designed to provide greater understanding of the technology itself, increased awareness of its risks, ideas about how to best respond to such risks, and also ways of identifying the opportunities offered by language technology. Throughout the course, you will hear from a range of stakeholders across domains where this technology is used, including researchers, developers and activists within academia, industry and elsewhere, many of whom address ways of increasing the equality, diversity and inclusiveness of such technology.
Please note that although this course is non-accredited, it can be used towards the module Making your learning count (YXM130) to gain OU credits.
You will learn
By the end of this course, you will:
- understand how language technologies work and major recent developments in this field
- have learned how to identify and manage the opportunities, risks and challenges of using AI language technologies in the workplace
- have critically evaluated primary source information on issues surrounding AI language technologies
- be able to formulate your own responses to issues surrounding AI language technologies, driven by fact-based critical research
- be able to identify key risks in language technology projects
- have learned about the design and evaluation of language technologies and special considerations for the workplace
- understand the importance of incorporating considerations around equality, diversity and inclusion when incorporating AI language technologies in the workplace.
The course is taught entirely online, with the aid of a learning adviser to offer support where needed. You will have access to online forums that you are strongly encouraged to participate in, as they are an excellent source of support and information. These forums combine peer support with input from the specialist learning adviser(s). Other support is available via the StudentHome website and computing helpdesk.
If you have a disability
The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.
The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying LG007 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.