Collaborating Authors

Why Are We Failing at the Ethics of AI?


As you read this, AI systems and algorithmic technologies are being embedded and scaled far more quickly than existing governance frameworks (i.e., the rules of the road) are evolving. While it is clear that AI systems offer opportunities across various areas of life, what amounts to a responsible perspective on their ethics and governance is yet to be realized. This should be setting off alarm bells across society. The current inability of actors to meaningfully address AI ethics has created a perfect storm: one in which AI is exacerbating existing inequalities while simultaneously creating new systemic issues at a rapid pace. But why hasn't this issue been effectively addressed?

State of AI Ethics Report (Volume 6, February 2022) Artificial Intelligence

This report from the Montreal AI Ethics Institute (MAIEI) covers the most salient progress in research and reporting over the second half of 2021 in the field of AI ethics. Particular emphasis is placed on an "Analysis of the AI Ecosystem", "Privacy", "Bias", "Social Media and Problematic Information", "AI Design and Governance", "Laws and Regulations", "Trends", and other areas covered in the "Outside the Boxes" section. The two AI spotlights feature application pieces on "Constructing and Deconstructing Gender with AI-Generated Art" as well as "Will an Artificial Intellichef be Cooking Your Next Meal at a Michelin Star Restaurant?". Given MAIEI's mission to democratize AI, submissions from external collaborators have featured, such as pieces on the "Challenges of AI Development in Vietnam: Funding, Talent and Ethics" and using "Representation and Imagination for Preventing AI Harms". The report is a comprehensive overview of what the key issues in the field of AI ethics were in 2021, what trends are emergent, what gaps exist, and a peek into what to expect from the field of AI ethics in 2022. It is a resource for researchers and practitioners alike in the field to set their research and development agendas to make contributions to the field of AI ethics.

The State of AI Ethics Report (October 2020) Artificial Intelligence

The 2nd edition of the Montreal AI Ethics Institute's The State of AI Ethics captures the most relevant developments in the field of AI Ethics since July 2020. This report aims to help anyone, from machine learning experts to human rights activists and policymakers, quickly digest and understand the ever-changing developments in the field. Through research and article summaries, as well as expert commentary, this report distills the research and reporting surrounding various domains related to the ethics of AI, including: AI and society, bias and algorithmic justice, disinformation, humans and AI, labor impacts, privacy, risk, and future of AI ethics. In addition, The State of AI Ethics includes exclusive content written by world-class AI Ethics experts from universities, research institutes, consulting firms, and governments. These experts include: Danit Gal (Tech Advisor, United Nations), Amba Kak (Director of Global Policy and Programs, NYU's AI Now Institute), Rumman Chowdhury (Global Lead for Responsible AI, Accenture), Brent Barron (Director of Strategic Projects and Knowledge Management, CIFAR), Adam Murray (U.S. Diplomat working on tech policy, Chair of the OECD Network on AI), Thomas Kochan (Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management), and Katya Klinova (AI and Economy Program Lead, Partnership on AI). This report should be used not only as a point of reference and insight on the latest thinking in the field of AI Ethics, but should also be used as a tool for introspection as we aim to foster a more nuanced conversation regarding the impacts of AI on the world.

Artificial Intelligence Governance and Ethics: Global Perspectives Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology which is increasingly being utilised in society and the economy worldwide, and its implementation is planned to become more prevalent in coming years. AI is increasingly being embedded in our lives, supplementing our pervasive use of digital technologies. But this is being accompanied by disquiet over problematic and dangerous implementations of AI, or indeed, even AI itself deciding to do dangerous and problematic actions, especially in fields such as the military, medicine and criminal justice. These developments have led to concerns about whether and how AI systems adhere, and will adhere to ethical standards. These concerns have stimulated a global conversation on AI ethics, and have resulted in various actors from different countries and sectors issuing ethics and governance initiatives and guidelines for AI. Such developments form the basis for our research in this report, combining our international and interdisciplinary expertise to give an insight into what is happening in Australia, China, Europe, India and the US.

Institutionalising Ethics in AI through Broader Impact Requirements Artificial Intelligence

Turning principles into practice is one of the most pressing challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) governance. In this article, we reflect on a novel governance initiative by one of the world's largest AI conferences. In 2020, the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) introduced a requirement for submitting authors to include a statement on the broader societal impacts of their research. Drawing insights from similar governance initiatives, including institutional review boards (IRBs) and impact requirements for funding applications, we investigate the risks, challenges and potential benefits of such an initiative. Among the challenges, we list a lack of recognised best practice and procedural transparency, researcher opportunity costs, institutional and social pressures, cognitive biases, and the inherently difficult nature of the task. The potential benefits, on the other hand, include improved anticipation and identification of impacts, better communication with policy and governance experts, and a general strengthening of the norms around responsible research. To maximise the chance of success, we recommend measures to increase transparency, improve guidance, create incentives to engage earnestly with the process, and facilitate public deliberation on the requirement's merits and future. Perhaps the most important contribution from this analysis are the insights we can gain regarding effective community-based governance and the role and responsibility of the AI research community more broadly.