Annual Theme - Davis Institute for AI

Annual Theme

AI & the Lived Environment

AI is a self-reinforcing loop: it shapes us and our environment, we shape it.
What synergies does the AI loop afford, and what are the hidden costs?

The first annual theme for the Davis Institute for AI is intended to be inclusive yet challenging. We invite experts from the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences to speak to the ways in which AI infuses our natural and social environments, and the ways in which we reinforce it. We draw on the participation of all to form a broad understanding of AI and to shape the questions we ask about AI and of ourselves in relation to it.


Aleja Geiger-ortiz

Using Machine Learning to Predict Coastal Landscape Change. Atolls are considered highly vulnerable to climate change, and their survival has huge implications for the ecosystems that depend on them. Assistant Professor of Geology Alejandra Ortiz…

Dale kocevski

How Colby Students and Faculty Plan to Decode NASA Data with AI. A $400,000 research program will enable student and faculty researchers to use machine learning and AI to analyze data from @NASA‘s new @James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).


STS343: History and philosophy of data​

ST343: History and Philosophy of Data

 Examines the long history of the concept of data in the English language (focusing on the period from 1630-1850) with the goal of understanding how this history has shaped how we use and think about data today. As such this course concerns both the history of data and the philosophy of data, the latter concerning our various explanations for why we value or don’t value data as a reliable basis for knowledge and belief. 

ES238: Renewable energy systems​

ES238s: Renewable Energy Systems

Offered in the spring semester.  Introduces students to major themes of renewable energy systems. Students will analyze alternative energy solutions for a sustainable future. Emphasis will be on the different forms of renewable energy, within the context of the existing energy mix, energy policy, resource potential, and institutional opportunities and barriers.

CS310: Creating new worlds: computing, ethics and society​

CS310s: Creating New Worlds: Computing, Ethics and Society

Offered in the spring semester. Explores ethical and moral narratives associated with advances in computing/AI technologies. Students will investigate issues in computing ethics highlighting the responsibility of computing professionals to examine the impact of their work on individuals and society. Topics will include: AI bias, digital disparities, autonomous systems, intellectual property law, cybercrime, information privacy and security, tech corporate culture, and professional conduct in a diverse workplace.