After missing the deadlines for the University of Edinburgh's (Edin) doctorates program in philosophy this winter due to the sudden passing of my grandmother, I took it as a sign to pursue a master's instead. While I was initially discouraged, I wound up feeling incredibly blessed to see that Edin was offering an online MSc in Data and AI Ethics. And that deadlines weren't until July! Given my certifications in humane tech, research experience, and coursework in the Philosophy of Computing and AI, nothing could be more aligned with my interests and career ambitions. Below is my personal statement, assisted (as always) by the lovely AI-powered Grammarly. Posted for my amazing professors at ASU whom I'm seeking referrals from <3
by S.R. Kurdas
My academic journey has been an exploration of the intersection between philosophy and technology. With a background in digital marketing and social media, I am now driven to pivot my career toward teaching philosophy in higher education, with a specific focus on ethics in the context of data and AI. It is my belief that understanding and grappling with the ethical challenges posed by these technologies is crucial in preparing the next generation for an increasingly interconnected and AI-driven world.
My interest in aesthetics, ethics, and emerging tech was sparked during my undergraduate studies, where I took courses on social media, analytics, coding, and philosophy of tech and computational thinking. This has introduced me to the fascinating world of algorithms and generative AI in marketing. I received a scholarship to conduct research with the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics at Arizona State University, where I presented on the topic of AI and artistic identity, delving into the complex debates surrounding copyright law and the role of AI in creative expression. This experience solidified my passion for exploring the ethical dimensions of emerging technologies and their implications for various domains.
Motivated by my experiences, I am now eager to pursue a Master's degree in Data and AI Ethics. I am excited about the opportunity to study at the University of Edinburgh, where I can deepen my understanding of data and AI ethics, engage with renowned scholars in the field, and contribute to the ongoing conversations surrounding the responsible development and deployment of AI technologies. I am confident that this postgraduate study will equip me with the necessary knowledge and expertise to make a meaningful impact as an educator, fostering ethical awareness and critical thinking among future generations.
In my pursuit of becoming an educator, I have been actively working on developing an introductory course on AI for online learning. I believe that incorporating practical AI understanding and ethics into secondary education will empower students to critically engage with emerging technologies and make informed decisions. My portfolio showcases this project, along with other works that demonstrate my dedication to exploring the ethical dimensions of AI and its impact on society: https://www.srkurdas.com/academic-works.
In conclusion, my demonstrated interest in aesthetics, ethics, and emerging tech has ignited my passion to pursue a Master's degree in Data and AI Ethics at the University of Edinburgh. Through this program, I aim to bridge the gap between philosophy and practical AI understanding, equipping myself to effectively educate students on the ethical considerations surrounding data and AI. I am motivated to bring this knowledge into secondary classrooms and empower students to navigate the ethical challenges of our technologically advancing world.