Final: Write Ethics Guidelines (35%)
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Final: Write Ethics Guidelines (35%)

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Your final will have two parts. The first asks you to write a set of ethical guidelines for an imagined organization. The second part asks you to think about your experience this semester and show how your thinking has changed over the past four weeks.

Part I

For the part one, you will play the role of an ethicist at a community group, non-profit organization, government agency, or a media technology company such as Google or TikTok. Your task is to develop an ethics code or set of guidelines specifically tailored to the ethical considerations of AI in media.

This project will require you to integrate concepts and insights from the course readings and lectures. Be sure to be specific about the writers and philosophers that you choose to work with. Your job during this final is to show mastery of the texts you’ve chosen while showing your ability to build on the work of others. Said differently, you’re going to combine at least three readings from class to develop new ideas and you’ll then justify your your ethical guidelines (this is where you’ll “show your work”).

Objective: Write formal ethical guidelines for a company, NGO, or government agency. The goal is to provide actionable, and rigorous guidelines in a conscience yet formal document. Of course, it should be based in the theories and case studies we’ve worked on in class. Be sure to point out how you are balancing one guideline against another. For example, if you exclude certain uses of AI, what are some of the potential outcomes?

Details for the guidelines & justification: 600 words (excluding references); Use at least three references from class and cite them using MLA or other citation method.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Research Existing Codes and Frameworks: Begin by researching existing codes and frameworks related to AI ethics, with a focus on communication. Refer to
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    Selected Texts
    , and identify at least three relevant class sources to incorporate into your project.
  2. Identify Gaps and Ethical Challenges: Based on your research and class readings, critically evaluate the existing codes and frameworks to identify any gaps or limitations in addressing the ethical challenges specific to AI in communication. Consider the impact of AI on information integrity, privacy, bias, and the dynamics of online communication. Assess how existing frameworks may fall short in addressing these concerns.
  3. Articulate Ethical Principles and Guidelines: Develop a comprehensive set of ethical principles and guidelines that address the identified gaps and ethical challenges. Ensure that your principles reflect the values and considerations emphasized in the class readings. Integrate concepts from consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics to provide a well-rounded approach to AI ethics in communication.
  4. Justify and Explain Your Ethical Principles: Provide a robust justification and explanation for each ethical principle or guideline you propose. Draw upon the class readings, scholarly sources, and real-world examples to support your arguments. Demonstrate how your proposed principles align with the broader ethical theories and apply to the specific context of AI in communication. This is where you think through how you’ll balance your ethical guidelines.
  5. Consider Practical Implementation: Discuss the practical aspects of implementing your ethics code or guidelines within the chosen organization. Address the challenges and potential barriers to implementation and propose strategies for promoting adoption and adherence. Consider the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, such as policymakers, developers, content moderators, and users, in ensuring ethical AI practices in communication.

Part II

In part two you’ll write a short, 300 word, essay that is a “letter to your future self.” In this essay, write down the ethical considerations you’ve found most valuable and note how your thinking has evolved over the past four weeks. What do you want to remind your future self to ensure your actions align with your intentions? In other words, how will you build your own ethical practice (i.e., praxis)? Be thoughtful in your answer.

Grading Rubric

The case study will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Research and Use of Class Resources (30%): The students should thoroughly research and correctly reference at least three class resources. Their understanding and integration of these resources into their ethical guidelines should demonstrate a deep comprehension of the class texts.
  2. Identification of Gaps and Ethical Challenges (20%): A clear identification and insightful analysis of gaps in current ethical codes and frameworks are needed. The students should specifically highlight the unique ethical challenges posed by AI in communication.
  3. Development and Justification of Ethical Guidelines (25%): The quality, depth, and practicality of the proposed ethical guidelines are crucial. Justification for each guideline should show a strong understanding of the ethical theories and principles learned throughout the course. The balancing act between different ethical guidelines should also be apparent and justified.
  4. Practical Implementation (15%): The proposed ethical guidelines should not only be theoretically sound but also practically implementable. The student should identify potential challenges and propose actionable solutions for promoting adoption and adherence to the guidelines.
  5. Reflection (10%): The reflective essay should demonstrate a clear evolution of the student's thought process throughout the course. This part is subjective and may depend on the personal experiences shared by the student. Still, it should reflect a deep understanding of how the ethical principles and concepts from the course can be applied in their future practices.