UMF explores “The Promises and Perils of Artificial Intelligence” with next Public Forum, Feb. 7

FARMINGTON, ME  (January 31, 2024)—The University of Maine at Farmington is pleased to invite the public to the next UMF Public Forum event featuring an exploration of “The Promises and Perils of Artificial Intelligence.” The evening’s panel discussion will take place Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, 7-8 p.m., in the Performance Space in the UMF Emery Community Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform education in the United States.  However, generative AI platforms (such as ChatGPT) raise challenging new questions for students, educators and lifelong learners.  

How might AI promote the development of knowledge, creativity and the skills necessary for success in the contemporary workplace? What are the dangers associated with the use of AI in an educational context? How can we more effectively integrate AI into our work?

These and other issues will be addressed by a panel of AI users, including Frank Giampietro, Mt. Blue High School teacher; Paloma Shelton, UMF student; Steve Pane, UMF professor of music and Dan Jackson, UMF associate professor of mathematics.

  • Giampietro will highlight how he uses ChatGPT 4.0 and Bard to creatively engage students and teachers. He’ll cover everything from understanding sarcasm in body language to exploring the nature of beauty, demonstrating the tools’ versatility in enhancing learning and creativity.
  • Shelton, a senior from Berkeley, Calif., will address the challenges of using AI to prepare students for the workforce, particularly focusing on the difficulties posed by the rapid pace of change in AI technology, which complicates its use and teaching due to constantly evolving content.
  • Pane will discuss the role of liberal arts education in AI learning, emphasizing how its interdisciplinary nature cultivates the critical thinking and creative skills essential for comprehending and advancing in the field of AI.
  • Jackson will showcase some AI agents, offering brief demonstrations of AI applications in fields spanning data science, education and video game design.

The UMF Public Forum is a University event series sponsored by the Office of the President. Each lecture will be followed by a discussion and a reception with light refreshments.

The Emery Community Arts Center is located on Academy St. (between Main St. and High St.) in downtown Farmington. For more information, contact Ann Bartges, director of UMF Emery Community Arts Center at or 207-778-7461.

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A nationally recognized public liberal arts college known for its commitment to the creative arts, teacher preparation, the health arts and sciences, the environment, business and public service, UMF provides a challenging yet supportive environment to prepare students for both careers and further study. Located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region, UMF is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for enriching professional careers, engaged citizenship and an enduring love of learning.

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