Call for Proposals

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Each year, the Lab releases a Call for Proposals (CFP) for the purpose of funding practical and applied interdisciplinary research in tech ethics.

The inaugural 2021-2022 CFP sought projects focused on at least one of six core themes related to the ethics of scale, automation, persuasion, prediction, identification, and adoption. The 2022-2023 CFP sought projects focused on auditing artificial intelligence. 

The focus of the 2023-2024 CFP is “The Ethics of Large-Scale Models.” Information about how to apply is below. 

2023-2024 CFP: The Ethics of Large-Scale Models

Large-scale models are drawing significant widespread public interest, driven by an increased focus on applications that leverage this technology, such as ChatGPT, LLaMa, DALL-E, or Midjourney. Large-scale models are artificial intelligence (AI) systems pre-trained on large datasets for general-purpose use, often adapted for a specific task using a fine-tuning process. Their adoption and impact are accelerating, driven by their potential in various contexts.

With the increased adoption of large-scale models, multiple stakeholders have raised concerns regarding the ethical issues surrounding their design, development, and use. While these models raise many of the same high-level tech ethics concerns as other forms of AI, they drive specific concerns around their potential to spread inaccurate information, violate intellectual property rights, and create increased data privacy risks, to name a few. In addition, medium- to long-term impacts of using these technologies also have the potential for unexpected impacts in critical sectors, such as education and health.

The Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab, under the auspices of the Notre Dame Ethics Initiative, invites proposals for projects that grapple with these challenges, providing new insights or suggesting innovative solutions. Potential applications for study include industry (e.g., healthcare, financial services), artistic creation, sustainability, neurotechnologies, politics, emergency and disaster management, advertising, social media, smart cities, and others. Examples of areas for research and scholarship include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Society, Community, and Culture
    • Inclusive stakeholder dialogue
    • Education
    • Future of work and upskilling
    • Community awareness and engagement
    • Impact to culture
  • Governance and Policy
    • Governance of organizations and systems
    • Informed and inclusive policy development
    • Guiding principles
    • Frameworks for adoption and decision-making
  • Interdisciplinary
    • Developing trustworthy systems
    • Design principles
    • Human-AI collaboration
    • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Other topics not described here

Successful applications will propose a defined deliverable (e.g., research papers, draft policy, teaching materials, and impact assessments) that addresses the challenges described in the call to be completed between April 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024. 

Download the application packet for more information about timelines, eligibility, project awards, and selection criteria. 

The application period is now closed.