Kristína Kovalská: My internship at KInIT

Over the course of  July and October 2022, I had the opportunity to work in the Ethics and Human Values in Technology team. During my internship I was working alongside experienced researchers, lawyers and other interns. As soon as I started, I was assigned a “buddy” – a fellow intern with more experience who helped me navigate through my tasks and answer all my questions. Even though I was working remotely the whole time, I felt supported and well-integrated into the team thanks to regular consultations with my team leader.

I spent my first few weeks learning about the team’s core topics. I was also trying to adopt the most important concepts, theories and methods. This  involved a wide range of issues, from the ethical implications of smart metering and large language models, to various types of ethical assessments of artificial intelligence and bias in AI. Even though the process was overwhelming at first, I quickly got a grasp of the topics with the help of my colleagues. It is important to  mention that my academic background is not in technology or philosophy, but in international relations and public policy. This demonstrates how inclusive KInIT’s environment truly is and how much support its community provides to people from different backgrounds who are determined to learn.

After becoming familiar with all the necessary concepts, I began assisting my coworkers with their tasks. In most cases, this involved conducting research, brainstorming, identifying the most relevant pieces of literature, and narrowing them down to specific points and arguments that were relevant to us. 

Accompanied by numerous meetings, the whole research process in the Ethics team was diligent and very thorough. The fact that different teams at KInIT often collaborate on projects creates even greater value.  Besides research tasks, I was also assigned to write a blog post on the last episode of the E-tika podcast. The episode discussed, among other things, the changes in the AI ethics  over the past two years. Having never written a blog post before, I found this to be a rather challenging but enriching experience. 

Overall, my internship gave me an opportunity to learn not only about captivating topics, concepts and research practices but also to gain valuable skills and meet some great people. I am beyond grateful for the chance to work as an intern at KInIT and I encourage everyone who is interested in this field to pursue their career at this institute. I can promise you that you will not regret it 😊