Assistant Professor of English Antonio Byrd Joins Task Force on Artificial Intelligence and Writing

In January 2023, Dr. Antonio Byrd, Assistant Professor of English, joined the Modern Languages Association (MLA) – Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Joint Task Force on Artificial Intelligence and Writing to discuss interventions in the proliferation of generative AI in reading, writing, and languages classrooms. Dr. Byrd is proud to announce that he and his colleagues have received The National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Chair’s Grant for $30,000 for this work. 

The grant will support a virtual meeting in November and a two-day in-person meeting in New York City next spring of humanities societies that represent reading, writing, and languages to discuss critical AI literacies. Anticipated participants include: Association of Research Libraries (tentative); Association of Language Departments (confirmed); College Language Association (tentative); Council of Writing Program Administrators (confirmed); International Writing Center Association (confirmed); Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and CCCC Send Language Standing Group (confirmed); and Two Year College Association (confirmed). Dr. Byrd and task force members expect to discuss topics of mutual interest, including the following: 

  • Shared priorities for generative AI interventions
  • Additional resources that the organizations can create, commission, or curate to advance critical AI literacy 
  • Planning for a gathering of language, literature, and literature professionals, convened with sessions presenting research and opportunities for conversation around AI and writing 
  • A topic for the task force’s second working paper, possibly centered on the development of critical AI literacy

As classroom instructors and students face the disruptive changes brought about by the expansion of AI, the MLA-CCC Joint Task Group will help to identify constructive approaches for those who teach students reading, writing, and languages. The Center for Digital and Public Humanities and the English Department are pleased that our UMKC colleague will play a vital role in helping educators to become more knowledgeable about the capabilities and uses of AI and consider how they might use this increasingly pervasive tool in the classroom.