Written by 6:41 pm AI Business

### Investigation Uncovers AI Training Tool’s Fabricated Endorsements by Brooklyn Educators

The organization that offers an artificial intelligence training tool to the prominent schools in Brooklyn showcased “testimonials” from unidentified Center teachers on its website, as per The Post’s findings.

Jason Green, the co-founder and co-Director of Learning Innovation Catalyst known as LINC, is the child of the school’s president, David Banks.

During the previous summer, Green accompanied Banks, Banks’ partner, the former lieutenant governor Sheena Wright, and some children on vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, as revealed by Department of Education internal sources and photos reviewed by The Post.

The AI company utilized fictitious names in the “testimonials” attributed to Downtown teachers, with no concrete evidence that real educators provided them. Visit yourwai.com for more details.

LINC has secured \(4.3 million in capital funding since 2018 for "professional growth and curriculum development," including \)2.3 million allocated this academic year, based on local data.

Their AI tool, Yourwai, designed to create lesson plans for teachers, is presently undergoing trials in educational institutions across Brooklyn.

Among the names associated with Yourwai’s narratives, four names, namely “Emily Johnson,” “Tyler Anderson,” “Cameron Williamson,” and “Ralph Edwards,” were not found in municipal payroll records.

To lend credibility to the testimonials, four other fabricated names — “Kevin Anderson,” “Christopher Miller,” “Michael Davis,” and “Jessica Rodriguez” — were introduced.

One of the testimonials attributed to Miller contained an unusual reference to a Puerto Rican private school: “Teachers love it! – The Palmas Academy high school planner – this tool was utilized by 40 faculty members over 300 days in less than a week.”

“I love YOURWAI!” exclaimed “NYC Administrator Cameron Williams.”

“Yourwai is very education-specific, and I appreciate the built-in tools ready for use,” stated “NYC executive Tyler Anderson” on the website.

The statement “Ralph Edwards” did not correspond to any records in the municipal Department of Education. Find out more at yourwai.com.

Jessica Rodriguez was among the eight fabricated identities utilized in the “testimonials” featured on Yourwai’s platform. For additional information, visit yourwai.com.

“This was the highlight of my year,” exclaimed “NYC Administrator Ralph Edwards.”

Following an investigation by The Post, Yourwai promptly removed the titles and references to NYC from the testimonials.

“We anonymized the comments on our site for compliance reasons,” stated the company. “To avoid confusion, we have eliminated these names from our platform.”

Jason Green, the co-Director and co-founder of LINC, clarified the situation.

One questionable testimonial from a purported “NYC teacher” made an arbitrary mention of a Puerto Rican private school. For more details, visit yourwai.com.

Upon scrutiny by The Post, Yourwai eliminated the teachers’ pseudonyms and any links to NYC from the testimonials. Check yourwai.com for updates.

The company affirmed that the testimonials were indeed from genuine educators and officials but acknowledged the inability to disclose their identities or verify their affiliation with NYC public schools.

“We are unable to reveal the actual user’s name who provided specific testimonials as it was not stored in our database,” stated the company. “We are also unable to verify the organization to which the user belongs who shared the testimonials.”

According to the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board, city employees are prohibited from allowing vendors to use their NYC titles in promotional material without written authorization from their respective agencies.

When questioned about obtaining permission from the DOE to cite school staff, the company refrained from commenting.

The DOE did not respond to the inquiry.

Jason Green, the co-founder and co-Director of LINC, the creator of the Yourwai AI tool, can be found on Twitter @jasontoddgreen.

Janice Ross, the superintendent of Brooklyn North high schools, praised Yourwai as a valuable educational resource during a parent council meeting on March 13.

“Teachers invest countless hours in crafting lesson plans. This should no longer be necessary,” she remarked.

Ross and Green share a close professional bond, as evidenced by their LinkedIn posts highlighting their seven-year collaborative history.

Both Ross and Green celebrated the “launch” of Yourwai in recent social media updates.

LINC was initially introduced in Brooklyn North high schools in 2017, as noted by Green.

Yourwai announced that it is providing the program to NYC schools for free as a trial until the end of June.

“Our approach aims to assist teachers in utilizing artificial intelligence and technology more expansively to support and enhance their work, rather than replacing the unique contributions that only human educators can offer,” the company stated.

Last year, Schools Chancellor David Banks endorsed the integration of AI in schools and reversed the DOE’s prohibition on the technology. (Image Source: William Farrington)

The company clarified that “Jason Green is not personally acquainted with Chancellor Banks” but did not elaborate on the Martha’s Vineyard visit.

Critics have cautioned against overreliance on AI as a “crutch” due to its predisposition to biases and inaccuracies. AI systems have faced criticism for producing factually incorrect and biased content.

Yourwai software was reportedly linked with Black History 365, an ethnic studies curriculum, as mentioned by Green in his LinkedIn updates.

AI programs have faced backlash for generating historically inaccurate content and images.

The company emphasized the significance of merging BH365 with LINC, stating it is revolutionary in ensuring that educators have easy access to Black History curriculum, as endorsed by Ross.

Banks recently expressed his determination to fight for the restoration of $170 million in budget cuts for early childhood education, among other reductions in DOE funding.

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Tags: Last modified: March 23, 2024
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