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The future of AI STARTS WITH YOU

Join us for the  first Ethics in AI Virtual Competition on October 22. 

Open to all undergraduate students in two or four-year colleges and universities across West Virginia regardless of major. Enter for your chance to win $3,000 for you or your team. 

West Virginia University’s Chambers College of Business and Economics is excited to announce its first Ethics in AI (artificial intelligence) competition, in coordination with Vantage Ventures, sponsored by the Maier Foundation.

AI has become so prevalent in our day-to-day lives. Some applications have created such positive movements in society and some uses of AI have created challenging consequences that impact some of our most vulnerable populations. The purpose of competition is to create thoughtful discussions around AI and its implications for society. This competition is open to all, not just for students in technical fields, as AI cuts across all disciplines and industries. This competition is open to all undergraduate students in two- or four-year colleges and universities across West Virginia, regardless of major. Students must be enrolled full-time. If students are in their final semester and are registered in less than full-time to complete their degree, this requirement can be waived. 

The competition will require an application with a one-page submission of the team’s position on the problem statement. For those teams that advance to the finals, you will be asked to prepare a slide deck and a 5-minute presentation. The finals will be held on October 22nd in conjunction with the Distinguished Speaker Series featuring a panel of AI experts.

Problem Statement

AI applications can have profound beneficial impact. For example, new AI driven initiatives such as Rainforest Connection enable remotely monitoring rain forests to  help environmental groups decide where to take action and invest their resources. On the other hand, the rapid adoption of new AI applications can also have negative consequences that were often not considered before the application was put into place. An example of this was the use by Amazon of a new employment recruiting tool that turned out to discriminate against women in its hiring algorithms.

AI is a new and powerful tool and different from anything we have seen in the past. The long run consequences of using AI to automate various tasks and decisions that used to be handled by humans is unknown but little is being done to consider and evaluate potential AI applications before they are adopted.

Whatever your chosen field, it’s likely that you will be involved in adopting AI to do work and/or make decisions for your organization. Please base your submission on the following:

  • Propose a framework for evaluating the adoption of new AI applications that weighs both the anticipated benefits and the potential for negative consequences.
  • Discuss the difference between tangible outcomes (e.g. increased revenue, lower expenses) and intangibles such as damage to an organization’s reputation and negative impact on people’s lives.
  • Outcomes and consequences from the adoption of new AI applications are frequently unanticipated beforehand. Include in your framework ways to monitor and measure the results of AI adoption on an ongoing basis to validate the decisions that were initially made.

Possible Examples

Costs of Social Media Customization:
The integration of AI into social media is widespread. Examples include job matching on LinkedIn, sentiment analysis on Twitter, and ad development on Instagram. Tik Tok’s recent AI integration helps consumers receive more anticipated video feeds while also helping providers improve their likelihood for trending content. However, users are generally unaware of the app’s collection of their personal data. When these data collection methods are uncovered, concerns of privacy violations are escalated. In response, we’re seeking ideas to help address these concerns. Ideas may include tools to help app developers communicate the “cost” of AI-enabled content delivery in a way that users will understand .

Competition Details

WVU will host the event virtually, in conjunction with Vantage Ventures and their Panel of Distinguished speakers. Entrants to the competition are invited and encouraged to attend. The panel is made up of world renowned experts in AI. 

  • Open to all undergraduate students in West Virginia (any college or university). Students must be enrolled full-time or must be in their graduating semester.
  • You can participate as an individual or in a team (up to 4 students per team)
  • Prize money will be distributed evenly across the team
  • A one-page summary (12 pt font) summary to the problem statement. 
    • This will be used to judge who makes it into the finals. Submission of the one-page summary should be done via jot form. Due October 8th by 11:59pm.
  • In the one-page summary, address each of the bullet points above. This can be up to one page, single spaced, 12-point font.
  • Please reference any data and sources in a separate reference section using APA. The reference section is not counted against your one-page submission. No appendices.
  • Up to 8 teams will be selected as finalists and invited to submit their presentations to the final round.
  • Teams that advance to the finals must submit a Powerpoint presentation that would accompany a 5-minute (maximum) presentation. Note, finalists will have the opportunity to practice the day before. 
  • During the day of the competition, the 5-minute presentation will be followed by a 5 minute question and answer session. 
  • Panel of Distinguished Speakers will commence at 5pm. 
  • Awards announced at the end of the Panel of Distinguished Speakers.

Presentation Details

Finalists should prepare a Powerpoint presentation. Five minutes are allotted for each presentation with 5 minutes for questions and answers. 

The finals will take place on October 22nd virtually via Zoom. The competition will be in conjunction with our Panel of Distinguished Speakers featuring thought leaders in AI.

Awards will be announced at the end of the Panel of Distinguished Speakers.

  • 1st prize – $3000 
  • 2nd prize – $1000 
  • 3rd prize – $ 500

*The award stipend is taxable and the responsibility of the team leader. 

Students can participate as individuals or in a team (up to 4). Prizes will be distributed evenly across the team. 


October 15:  Finalists notified of advancement into the finals

October 21: Practice presentations for finalists 

October 22: Day of virtual event

  • Competition begins at 2pm with teams being assigned 15 minute slots
  • Presentations 2pm-4pm
  • Ethics of AI Panel of Distinguished Speakers 5-6pm
    • David Fragale, Executive in Residence, Finance
    • Laura Kornhauser, Co-founder and CEO of Stratify
    • Tim Duncan, Founder of FinTech Commons 
  • Award announcement to follow speakers
*All prize proceeds may be revoked if the recipients are found to have violated any of the competition’s rules and regulations. West Virginia University is not responsible for the content or quality of any in-kind services that may be provided as awards for this competition.