Teaching AI, Ethics, Law and Policy

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The cyberspace and the development of new technologies, especially intelligent systems using artificial intelligence, present enormous challenges to computer professionals, data scientists, managers and policy makers. There is a need to address professional responsibility, ethical, legal, societal, and policy issues. This paper presents problems and issues relevant to computer professionals and decision makers and suggests a curriculum for a course on ethics, law and policy. Such a course will create awareness of the ethics issues involved in building and using software and artificial intelligence.


Taking responsibility for responsible AI

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) affords a tremendous opportunity not only to increase efficiencies and reduce costs, but to help rethink businesses and solve critical problems. Yet for all the promises AI holds, there's an equal amount of anxiety, across economies and societies. Many people feel that advanced technologies will bring profound changes that are predestined and inevitable. As AI becomes more sophisticated, it will start to make or assist decisions that have a greater impact on individual lives. This will raise ethical challenges as people adjust to the larger and more prominent role of automated decision making in society.


Translation: Excerpts from China's 'White Paper on Artificial Intelligence Standardization'

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This translation by Jeffrey Ding, edited by Paul Triolo, covers some of the most interesting parts of the Standards Administration of China's 2018 White Paper on Artificial Intelligence Standardization, a joint effort by more than 30 academic and industry organizations overseen by the Chinese Electronics Standards Institute. Ding, Triolo, and Samm Sacks describe the importance of this white paper and other Chinese government efforts to influence global AI development and policy formulation in their companion piece, "Chinese Interests Take a Big Seat at the AI Governance Table." Historical experience demonstrates that new technologies can often improve productivity and promote societal progress. But at the same time, as artificial intelligence (AI) is still in the early phrase of development, the policies, laws, and standards for safety, ethics, and privacy in this area are worthy of attention. In the case of AI technology, issues of safety, ethics, and privacy have a direct impact on people's trust in AI technology in their interaction experience with AI tools.



How artificial intelligence is transforming the world

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Most people are not very familiar with the concept of artificial intelligence (AI). As an illustration, when 1,500 senior business leaders in the United States in 2017 were asked about AI, only 17 percent said they were familiar with it.1 A number of them were not sure what it was or how it would affect their particular companies. They understood there was considerable potential for altering business processes, but were not clear how AI could be deployed within their own organizations. Despite its widespread lack of familiarity, AI is a technology that is transforming every walk of life. It is a wide-ranging tool that enables people to rethink how we integrate information, analyze data, and use the resulting insights to improve decisionmaking. Our hope through this comprehensive overview is to explain AI to an audience of policymakers, opinion leaders, and interested observers, and demonstrate how AI already is altering the world and raising important questions for society, the economy, and governance. In this paper, we discuss novel applications in finance, national security, health care, criminal justice, transportation, and smart cities, and address issues such as data access problems, algorithmic bias, AI ethics and transparency, and legal liability for AI decisions. We contrast the regulatory approaches of the U.S. and European Union, and close by making a number of recommendations for getting the most out of AI while still protecting important human values.2 Although there is no uniformly agreed upon definition, AI generally is thought to refer to "machines that respond to stimulation consistent with traditional responses from humans, given the human capacity for contemplation, judgment and intention."3 According to researchers Shubhendu and Vijay, these software systems "make decisions which normally require [a] human level of expertise" and help people anticipate problems or deal with issues as they come up.4 As such, they operate in an intentional, intelligent, and adaptive manner. Artificial intelligence algorithms are designed to make decisions, often using real-time data. They are unlike passive machines that are capable only of mechanical or predetermined responses. Using sensors, digital data, or remote inputs, they combine information from a variety of different sources, analyze the material instantly, and act on the insights derived from those data. With massive improvements in storage systems, processing speeds, and analytic techniques, they are capable of tremendous sophistication in analysis and decisionmaking.