Notre Dame Faculty and IBM Research Partner to Advance Research in Ethics and Large Language Models

Author: Laura Moran Walton

Blue background with dots of light, includes Tech Ethics Lab logo in lower right

The Notre Dame–IBM Technology Ethics Lab announced today that it has launched ten projects that will receive almost $300,000 in funding for 2024. The projects pair 10 Notre Dame faculty members and 15 IBM researchers who will work together to study the ethical challenges emerging at the research frontier of large language models (LLMs).

“This is a unique opportunity to form a productive collaboration between our faculty at Notre Dame and IBM Research, exploring the frontier of LLMs and their societal challenges from design and development to deployment and wider use,” says Nuno Moniz, Director of the Notre Dame–IBM Technology Ethics Lab and Associate Research Professor, Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society. “I’m truly excited about this collaboration furthering a strong collaboration to face new challenges in the future.”

Jeffrey Welser, Chief Operating Officer for IBM Research and Vice President, Exploratory Science and University Collaborations, says, “I’m excited to expand our work with the Tech Ethics Lab by partnering directly on these projects. It is critical that we continue accelerating research on responsible and inclusive progress on LLM development.”

"We're thrilled about this opportunity to collaborate with IBM researchers on responsible AI, specifically focused on Large Language Models and Generative AI. Together, we are committed to developing LLMs that are not only foundational but also ensure that our progress benefits all sectors of society," says Nitesh Chawla, Frank M. Freimann Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and the Director of the Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society, who serves as lead for one of the projects.

These projects will be undertaken and completed in 2024, and final deliverables will be accessible through the lab’s website.

The research teams are:

  • Keerthiram Murugesan (IBM Research) will collaborate with Yanfang (Fanny) Ye (Computer Science and Engineering) and Nuno Moniz (Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab), on Interpretable and Explainable Foundation Models
  • Michelle Brachman and Zahra Ashktorab (IBM Research) will collaborate with Diego Gómez-Zará and Toby Jia-Jun Li (Computer Science and Engineering), on Evaluation, Metrics, and Benchmarks for Generative AI Systems
  • Michael Hind and Elizabeth Daly (IBM Research) will collaborate with Nuno Moniz (Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab), on Governance, Auditing, and Risk Assessment for Large Language Models
  • Elizabeth Daly (IBM Research) will collaborate with Nitesh Chawla (Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society) on Fairness and Equity for Large Language Models
  • Youssef Mrouehe and Payel Das (IBM Research) will collaborate with Nuno Moniz (Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab) and Nitesh Chawla (Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society), on Next-Generation AI Models and Responsible AI
  • Pin-Yu Chen and Tien Gao (IBM Research) will collaborate with Xianliang (Lynn) Zhang (Computer Science and Engineering) on Robustness for Large Language Models
  • Sara Berger (IBM Research) will collaborate with Luis Felipe Rosado Murillo (Anthropology) on Expanding Large-Scale Model Evaluations
  • Adriana Alvarado Garcia (IBM Research) will collaborate with Karla Badillo-Urquiola (Computer Science and Engineering) on Data-Driven Work Practices in Large Language Models to Design Ethical and Human-Centric Mitigation Tools
  • Felicia Jing (IBM Research) will collaborate with Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal (English) on Spectral Tracing: Assessment Methods for Tracing the Impact of Consensus-Based Data Practices in Large Language Model Development
  • Francesca Rossi, Heather Domin, and Brian Goehring (IBM Research) will collaborate with Nicholas Berente (IT, Analytics, and Operations) on the Holistic Return on Investment of AI Ethics

The Notre Dame–IBM Technology Ethics Lab, which is a key element of the Notre Dame Ethics Initiative, promotes broad-based, far-reaching interdisciplinary research, thought, and policy leadership in artificial intelligence and other technology ethics by engaging with relevant stakeholders to examine real-world challenges and provide practical models and applied solutions for ethical technology design, development, and deployment. The Lab is sponsored by IBM through a 10-year, $20 million dollar investment.