From left to right: Mikiko Galpin and Kemberly Viveros
Temple Law’s Institute for Law, Innovation & Technology (iLIT), in partnership with InterDigital Foundation, has announced the second cohort of Merritt Fellows. The William J. Merritt Student Fellowship, established in honor of Bill Merritt LAW ‘87, provides financial and mentorship support for Temple Law students exploring topics at the critical intersection of technology and law. Mikiko Galpin and Kemberly Viveros have been named the recipients of the 2023 Fellowship.
Galpin’s research will focus on how end-to-end encrypted messaging applications are used to exploit vulnerable individuals, with a particular focus on digital sexual exploitation and modern slavery. He plans to investigate regulatory schemes enacted in foreign countries to prevent this exploitation and how these efforts can inform our own domestic regulation.
Viveros will research the potential implications of ChatGPT’s extensive capabilities and its biased training data on various communities, including those that are marginalized, the workforce, and the education system. ChatGPT is a remarkable prototype of an artificial intelligence chatbot, crafted with particular expertise in dialogue by OpenAI. Its abilities extend far beyond the typical AI chatbox’s functionality. While ChatGPT has demonstrated its immense capabilities, its knowledge base is limited to the year 2021, Viveros noted, preventing it from answering inquiries beyond that date, and it has been found to occasionally produce inaccurate responses.
“I hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of whether ChatGPT’s benefits outweighs its consequences. If its capabilities are indeed deemed to outweigh its consequences, I intend to explore how we can effectively manage and mitigate any negative repercussions that arise,” said Viveros. “Conversely, if the consequences of ChatGPT’s deployment are found to be too detrimental to be outweighed by its benefits, I will endeavor to explore appropriate courses of action to mitigate and/or remedy these issues.”
ILIT’s Executive Director Laura Bingham remarked, “We are so thrilled at the level of student interest in this program and the level of expertise and insight they bring to the fundamental question at the heart of the fellowship: ‘how is technology impacting everyday lives?’.” The Merritt fellowship is an anchor program at iLIT that we hope to grow so that we can support more original student research in this ever-expanding field.”
“I’m thrilled to have been named a 2023 Merritt Fellow and am eager to explore the significant role technology plays in human rights,” said Galpin. “While technology can provide many advantages to human rights advocates, it can also exacerbate existing inequalities across race, gender, and other identities. This fellowship gives me the unique opportunity to explore the intersection of technology and human rights and to gain valuable knowledge that I will take forward with me in my legal career and as an advocate for marginalized communities and identities.”
“I am honored to have the opportunity to explore the critical role that technology plays in our everyday lives. While technology has undoubtedly brought about unparalleled convenience and access to information, resources, and services that were once inaccessible or difficult to obtain, it is not without its challenges and drawbacks,” said Viveros. “I intend to use this opportunity to explore the potential impacts of emerging artificial intelligence and propose recommendations for how society can adapt to the changes it will inevitably bring. I look forward to immersing myself in this topic and continuing to develop a nuanced understanding of the intersection between technology and society.”
Read more about the Merritt Fellowship and the inaugural Merritt Fellows here.
Bill Merritt LAW ‘87 served as President and Chief Executive Officer of InterDigital, an industry-leading research, innovation, and licensing company, from 2005 until his retirement in 2021. Under his leadership, InterDigital created solutions for many of the industry’s most critical and complex technical challenges and grew to include licenses and strategic relationships with many of the world’s leading technology companies. Merritt is a member of Temple Law’s Board of Visitors and now serves as an inaugural member of the iLIT Advisory Board.