Anja Salzmann: Challenging the Use of AI

Anja Salzmann: Challenging the Use of AI

May 7, 2024

Why and how should we think critically about the use of AI in higher education, research and in schools? Lately, SLATE’s postdoc, Anja Salzmann, has been actively participating in the ongoing AI debates in Norway.

This week, SLATE would like to shine a well-deserved spotlight on our postdoctoral fellow, Anja Salzmann, who has been busy working hard to share her insights into the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in higher education, research and in schools, and how the use of AI affects democracy. Here, we will tell you about her recent activities.

Anja Salzmann, Postdoctoral Fellow at SLATE. Photo: Thor Brødreskift.

In addition to participating in debates and holding talks during webinars and conferences, this Spring has been Anja’s fourth semester teaching the University of Bergen course DIGI115: Data and Democracy, where she encourages critical thinking about the use of AI in our society, and how the logics of digital economy affect the democratic processes.  

Great work, Anja!

AI in Higher Education

On March 6th, Anja Salzmann held a 45-minute webinar about opportunities and consequences of AI in higher education for Forskerforbundet, entitled “AI – consequences for society and the development of knowledge”. Salzmann spoke about the impact of AI research on knowledge development, as well as core driving forces of AI development, and core visions and challenges of applying AI in and on higher research institutions.

Forskerforbundet, also known as The Norwegian Association of Researchers (NAR), is Norway's largest and leading trade union and special interest organization for employees in research, higher education and dissemination of knowledge. Today, Forskerforbundet has 25 000 members.

AI in Research

During Unio's education conference in Lillestrøm on April 4th – 5th, Anja Salzmann was invited to give a short presentation. She also had a debate with Marco Lukic, the head of the AI lab at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, on the role of AI in higher education from a practical, tool-related as well as societal perspective, discussing hands-on AI tools and possible long-term consequences for institutions in higher education.

Unio (The Confederation of Unions for Professionals) is Norway’s second largest confederation, with approximately 400 000 members. Unio is politically independent and actively participates in labour policy, with a broad societal engagement. Unio has 14 national affiliates organized according to profession, one of which is Forskerforbundet.

AI in School

Lastly, Anja Salzmann was invited to take part in a panel about AI in schools at the big Norwegian Democracy conference, “Demokratikonferansen”, arranged by the University of Oslo at Blindern Campus on April 18th. The conference is a gathering of leading research scientists, politicians, and other social actors, and is outlined as the leading and most important conference on democracy in Norway. This year, the conference covered topics such as “What is the status of democracy, here at home and abroad? What democratic consequences do we see from the war in Ukraine? How does the climate and nature crisis challenge democracy? And what about digitization and AI?”

During the conference, Salzmann was part of the panel on digitization and democracy in schools, after lecturer and head of Tenk, Sølve Kuraas Karlsen, gave a short presentation about the work of Tenk. Tenk is the school-focused branch of Faktisk.no, a non-profit organization and independent editorial board focused on fact checking the social debate and public discourse in Norway. The other panelists were Sten Ludvigsen, Professor of learning and digitization at the University of Oslo, and Marte Gerhardsen, Director of the Norwegian Education Agency in Oslo.

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