Imagine AI Research Overview

The Imagine AI project is integrating literacy and computer science in order to develop youths' critical awareness of AI technologies and ethics issues such as fairness, transparency, accountability, privacy and security. Students read and discuss AI stories, learn about AI and ethics through online media, experiment with AI design tools, and create multimodal products about an AI technology and related ethical issues. 

In years 1 and 2,  we piloted Imagine AI in two online summer camps for middle school and high school students, and in two online 9th grade English Language Arts classes. In year 3, we are exploring how educators use and adapt these open education curriculum modules to meet their own goals and contexts.

Key research questions

  1. How do stories with embedded ethical dilemmas influence youths' understanding and views about critical AI ethics issues?
  2.  What impact does participation in an AI class or camp have on youths' perceptions and use of AI technologies?
  3. How do youth’s multimodal products (e.g., a comic, video, and chat bot) express their views on AI technologies and ethics issues?
  4. How does the program's implementation and effectiveness vary across formal and informal learning settings?
  5. For year 3: How do educators participate in an AI Ethics community, using and adapting Imagine AI to support their goals and local contexts? What do they view as benefits and limitations

Data Sources 

For years 1 and 2, we collected student pre-post surveys, student artifacts (comics, videos, chatbots), session field notes, session chat transcripts, educational materials and conducted interviews with a subset of participants. For year 3, we will collect information from participating educators via online surveys, participation in professional development and learning community activities, selected interviews, shared student products and curriculum adaptations.

Research Dissemination

  • Dalton, B., Haberl, E., Walsh, B., Forsyth, S. & Yeh, T. (2020). Using stories with embedded AI ethical dilemmas to develop youth’s critical awareness and design skills.  Paper presented at Annual Conference of the Literacy Research Association, Virtual conference due to COVID-19. (awarded Best Paper - Literacy, Media & Technology)
  • Forsyth, S., Walsh, B., Dalton, B. & Yeh, T. (2021). Imagine AI: Integrating literacy and computer science to increase awareness of critical AI ethics issues. AI4K12 State of AI Education in Your State, K-12 Education Showcase, Virtual conference due to COVID-19.
  • Walsh, B, Dalton, B., Forsyth, S., Haberl, E., Turner, M., & Yeh, T. (2021).  Exploring Artificial Intelligence Ethics with stories, comics, and chatbots in an online summer camp. Poster presented at American Education Research Association, Virtual Conference.
  • Forsyth, S., Walsh, B., Dalton, B., Haberl, E., Smilack, J. & Yeh, T. (2021). Imagine a more ethical AI: Using stories to develop teens’ awareness and understanding of artificial intelligence and its societal impacts. In Proceedings, RESPECT 2021 virtual conference; Annual Conference on Research in Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT). 

Contact Us

For more information about our research or to participate in the Year 3 project, please contact benjamin.walsh@colorado.edu or bridget.dalton@colorado.edu

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