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Maine university launches research ethics training amid AI evolution

A $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will create the training for students and research staff.

PORTLAND, Maine — As college campuses open up again, one local school is getting help training its researchers to be ethical as they work to achieve their dreams.

The University of Southern Maine announced it just secured a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to create a training program for ethical research, as new technologies like ChatGPT emerge; making it easier to cut corners and falsely complete research projects. 

Bruce Thompson is a psychology professor at the school, and is part of the team developing the new training. He said they’re not trying to cut off technological advances, but lay a foundation in the minds of students and staff.

"You’re readying people to be thoughtful, critical thinkers," Thompson explained. "And... surprisingly, that’s what is largely absent from the very broad array of ethics trainings that occur at the organizational level; at the federal research - sort of institutional – level."

The grant will be spent over three years, with trainings possibly beginning in the coming spring semester.

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