This special issue interrogates the meaning and impacts of "tech ethics": the embedding of ethics into digital technology research, development, use, and governance. In response to concerns about the social harms associated with digital technologies, many individuals and institutions have articulated the need for a greater emphasis on ethics in digital technology. Yet as more groups embrace the concept of ethics, critical discourses have emerged questioning whose ethics are being centered, whether "ethics" is the appropriate frame for improving technology, and what it means to develop "ethical" technology in practice. This interdisciplinary issue takes up these questions, interrogating the relationships among ethics, technology, and society in action. This special issue engages with the normative and contested notions of ethics itself, how ethics has been integrated with technology across domains, and potential paths forward to support more just and egalitarian technology. Rather than starting from philosophical theories, the authors in this issue orient their articles around the real-world discourses and impacts of tech ethics--i.e., tech ethics in action.
There is mounting public concern over the influence that AI based systems has in our society. Coalitions in all sectors are acting worldwide to resist hamful applications of AI. From indigenous people addressing the lack of reliable data, to smart city stakeholders, to students protesting the academic relationships with sex trafficker and MIT donor Jeffery Epstein, the questionable ethics and values of those heavily investing in and profiting from AI are under global scrutiny. There are biased, wrongful, and disturbing assumptions embedded in AI algorithms that could get locked in without intervention. Our best human judgment is needed to contain AI's harmful impact. Perhaps one of the greatest contributions of AI will be to make us ultimately understand how important human wisdom truly is in life on earth.
Gupta, Abhishek, Royer, Alexandrine, Wright, Connor, Khan, Falaah Arif, Heath, Victoria, Galinkin, Erick, Khurana, Ryan, Ganapini, Marianna Bergamaschi, Fancy, Muriam, Sweidan, Masa, Akif, Mo, Butalid, Renjie
The 3rd edition of the Montreal AI Ethics Institute's The State of AI Ethics captures the most relevant developments in AI Ethics since October 2020. It aims to help anyone, from machine learning experts to human rights activists and policymakers, quickly digest and understand the field's ever-changing developments. 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: algorithmic injustice, discrimination, ethical AI, labor impacts, misinformation, privacy, risk and security, social media, and more. 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. Unique to this report is "The Abuse and Misogynoir Playbook," written by Dr. Katlyn Tuner (Research Scientist, Space Enabled Research Group, MIT), Dr. Danielle Wood (Assistant Professor, Program in Media Arts and Sciences; Assistant Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics; Lead, Space Enabled Research Group, MIT) and Dr. Catherine D'Ignazio (Assistant Professor, Urban Science and Planning; Director, Data + Feminism Lab, MIT). The piece (and accompanying infographic), is a deep-dive into the historical and systematic silencing, erasure, and revision of Black women's contributions to knowledge and scholarship in the United Stations, and globally. Exposing and countering this Playbook has become increasingly important following the firing of AI Ethics expert Dr. Timnit Gebru (and several of her supporters) at Google. 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.
Zhang, Daniel, Mishra, Saurabh, Brynjolfsson, Erik, Etchemendy, John, Ganguli, Deep, Grosz, Barbara, Lyons, Terah, Manyika, James, Niebles, Juan Carlos, Sellitto, Michael, Shoham, Yoav, Clark, Jack, Perrault, Raymond
Welcome to the fourth edition of the AI Index Report. This year we significantly expanded the amount of data available in the report, worked with a broader set of external organizations to calibrate our data, and deepened our connections with the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). The AI Index Report tracks, collates, distills, and visualizes data related to artificial intelligence. Its mission is to provide unbiased, rigorously vetted, and globally sourced data for policymakers, researchers, executives, journalists, and the general public to develop intuitions about the complex field of AI. The report aims to be the most credible and authoritative source for data and insights about AI in the world.
Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translated into practice. To overcome this bottleneck, we have established the RElevant LIterature SearcH consortium consisting of more than 1500 scientists from 84 countries, who have collectively annotated the relevance of over 180 000 PubMed-listed articles with regard to their respective seed (input) article/s. The majority of annotations were contributed by highly experienced, original authors of the seed articles. The collected data cover 76% of all unique PubMed Medical Subject Headings descriptors. No systematic biases were observed across different experience levels, research fields or time spent on annotations.
As data breaches, misuse of personal information and the spread of disinformation erode the public's trust in Silicon Valley, it can be all too easy to become cynical about technology's impact on the world. But there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about tech's role in society moving forward. Below, TIME speaks to 10 innovators, founders, investors and even athletes who remain upbeat about technology's influence despite the many challenges facing the industry today. Moustapha Cisse left Senegal a decade ago to study artificial intelligence, and now he believes the technology can change Africa for the better. Cisse, 34, is leading Google's AI research center in Accra, Ghana, the company's first such venture in Africa. "I built my team here around people who are really committed to make a difference in people's lives," Cisse tells TIME. "[They] bring a fresh perspective in the field by looking at the problems that we have in Africa." Growing up, no one would have expected Cisse to be heading up a multi-billion dollar corporation's research initiative.
The first dedicated masters degree program for machine intelligence in Africa is launching in September with backing from tech leaders Google and Facebook. The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), which created the program, says the African Masters of Machine Intelligence (AMMI) is crucial so African countries don't get left behind as advancements in machine intelligence rapidly develop. "The lack of MI researchers from Africa means that many opportunities to use MI to create a better and more stable world are being missed," said Moustapha Cissé, founder of the program. He noted Africa is on the lower end of a "technology gap" in the field. This is why the program is called the "African Masters" in machine intelligence, as a branding strategy but also because the challenges they are choosing to focus on in the program will be challenges and insights relevant to Africa.