Vanderbilt University staff members have apologized after an artificial intelligence (AI) system sent out a campus-wide email about the Michigan State shooting that occurred earlier this week.
The incident happened on Wednesday when Vanderbilt’s AI system, which is used to send automated emails to students and faculty, sent out an email with the subject line “Michigan State Shooting.” The email contained information about the shooting at Michigan State University that left two people dead and several others injured.
However, many of Vanderbilt’s students were unaware of the tragedy in East Lansing and were confused by the message they received from their university. After receiving numerous complaints from students who felt uncomfortable or distressed by the message, Vanderbilt officials quickly issued an apology for any distress caused by its automated messaging system.
In a statement released Thursday morning, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Mark Bandas said: “We apologize for any confusion or distress our automated communication may have caused our community today regarding news of a tragic event at another institution. We are reviewing our processes to ensure we can prevent similar occurrences in future communications.”
Bandas went on to explain that while AI systems are useful tools for sending mass emails efficiently and accurately, there must be safeguards in place so as not to cause unnecessary alarm among recipients. He added that Vanderbilt will continue to review its policies around using such technology going forward.
At Vanderbilt University, student safety is always top priority; however it appears this time their use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) backfired when it came to informing their community about a tragedy occurring elsewhere on Wednesday evening – one which had no direct connection with them whatsoever – leaving some feeling confused or even distressed due to lack of context provided within the email itself.
In response, Vice Chancellor Mark Bandas was quick to issue an apology along with assurances that steps would be taken immediately in order ensure similar incidents do not occur again in future communications via automation systems like AI technology employed by universities across America today . In his statement he noted: “We understand how important it is for us all – especially during times like these –to remain vigilant against potential threats but also sensitive towards those affected by tragedies outside our own walls”
It goes without saying then that while automation technologies can provide great efficiency gains when communicating en masse , there needs also be appropriate checks & balances put into place so as not inadvertently cause undue stress upon recipients who may find themselves ill-prepared or otherwise unprepared emotionally speaking should they receive unexpected messages containing distressing content .
Fortunately though , here at Vanderbilt University , measures are already being implemented both internally & externally so as better protect both current & prospective students alike from potentially upsetting notifications delivered through automated means moving forward . As part of this process , additional protocols will likely need reviewed & revised over time too if necessary ; however overall it seems clear now more than ever before just how essential proper oversight remains whenever utilizing advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).