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Ethics of AI: Benefits and risks of artificial intelligence

ZDNet

In 1949, at the dawn of the computer age, the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel warned of the danger of naively applying technology to solve life's problems. Life, Marcel wrote in Being and Having, cannot be fixed the way you fix a flat tire. Any fix, any technique, is itself a product of that same problematic world, and is therefore problematic, and compromised. Marcel's admonition is often summarized in a single memorable phrase: "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived." Despite that warning, seventy years later, artificial intelligence is the most powerful expression yet of humans' urge to solve or improve upon human life with computers. But what are these computer systems? As Marcel would have urged, one must ask where they come from, whether they embody the very problems they would purport to solve. Ethics in AI is essentially questioning, constantly investigating, and never taking for granted the technologies that are being rapidly imposed upon human life. That questioning is made all the more urgent because of scale. AI systems are reaching tremendous size in terms of the compute power they require, and the data they consume. And their prevalence in society, both in the scale of their deployment and the level of responsibility they assume, dwarfs the presence of computing in the PC and Internet eras. At the same time, increasing scale means many aspects of the technology, especially in its deep learning form, escape the comprehension of even the most experienced practitioners. Ethical concerns range from the esoteric, such as who is the author of an AI-created work of art; to the very real and very disturbing matter of surveillance in the hands of military authorities who can use the tools with impunity to capture and kill their fellow citizens. Somewhere in the questioning is a sliver of hope that with the right guidance, AI can help solve some of the world's biggest problems. The same technology that may propel bias can reveal bias in hiring decisions. The same technology that is a power hog can potentially contribute answers to slow or even reverse global warming. The risks of AI at the present moment arguably outweigh the benefits, but the potential benefits are large and worth pursuing. As Margaret Mitchell, formerly co-lead of Ethical AI at Google, has elegantly encapsulated, the key question is, "what could AI do to bring about a better society?" Mitchell's question would be interesting on any given day, but it comes within a context that has added urgency to the discussion. Mitchell's words come from a letter she wrote and posted on Google Drive following the departure of her co-lead, Timnit Gebru, in December.


Ethics of AI: Benefits and risks of artificial intelligence

#artificialintelligence

In 1949, at the dawn of the computer age, the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel warned of the danger of naively applying technology to solve life's problems. Life, Marcel wrote in Being and Having, cannot be fixed the way you fix a flat tire. Any fix, any technique, is itself a product of that same problematic world, and is therefore problematic, and compromised. Marcel's admonition is often summarized in a single memorable phrase: "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived." Despite that warning, seventy years later, artificial intelligence is the most powerful expression yet of humans' urge to solve or improve upon human life with computers. But what are these computer systems? As Marcel would have urged, one must ask where they come from, whether they embody the very problems they would purport to solve. Ethics in AI is essentially questioning, constantly investigating, and never taking for granted the technologies that are being rapidly imposed upon human life. That questioning is made all the more urgent because of scale. AI systems are reaching tremendous size in terms of the compute power they require, and the data they consume. And their prevalence in society, both in the scale of their deployment and the level of responsibility they assume, dwarfs the presence of computing in the PC and Internet eras. At the same time, increasing scale means many aspects of the technology, especially in its deep learning form, escape the comprehension of even the most experienced practitioners. Ethical concerns range from the esoteric, such as who is the author of an AI-created work of art; to the very real and very disturbing matter of surveillance in the hands of military authorities who can use the tools with impunity to capture and kill their fellow citizens. Somewhere in the questioning is a sliver of hope that with the right guidance, AI can help solve some of the world's biggest problems. The same technology that may propel bias can reveal bias in hiring decisions. The same technology that is a power hog can potentially contribute answers to slow or even reverse global warming. The risks of AI at the present moment arguably outweigh the benefits, but the potential benefits are large and worth pursuing. As Margaret Mitchell, formerly co-lead of Ethical AI at Google, has elegantly encapsulated, the key question is, "what could AI do to bring about a better society?" Mitchell's question would be interesting on any given day, but it comes within a context that has added urgency to the discussion. Mitchell's words come from a letter she wrote and posted on Google Drive following the departure of her co-lead, Timnit Gebru, in December.


Microsoft buys AI speech tech company Nuance for $19.7 billion

#artificialintelligence

Microsoft is buying AI speech tech firm Nuance for $19.7 billion, bolstering the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant's prowess in voice recognition and giving it further leverage in the health care market, where Nuance sells many products. Microsoft will pay $56 per share for Nuance, a 23 percent premium over the company's closing price last Friday. The deal includes Nuance's net debt. Nuance is best known for its Dragon software, which uses deep learning to transcribe speech and improves its accuracy over time by adapting to a user's voice. Nuance has licensed this tech for many services and applications, including, most famously, Apple's digital assistant Siri.


Here's What AI Will Never Be Able to Do

#artificialintelligence

At a Fintech conference in New York put on by Fordham University in the spring of 2017, an AI expert made a bold prediction: Someday there would be a company with a market cap of one trillion dollars. He predicted that this valuation, which at the time seemed incredible, would be based on that firm's extensive use of AI. He was correct in at least one regard: Apple became the world's first trillion-dollar company a little over a year later. Was Apple's staggering valuation due to the power of AI? Are AI and, more broadly, data analytics, the key drivers of business growth? Apple uses data analytics and AI extensively.


Three Provocations for AI Governance – A Digital New Deal

#artificialintelligence

For those engaged in advocacy around the social harms of AI systems, a definitional exercise could, however, be a key way to rescue AI from the abstract, and foreground social and material concerns around these systems. Just as glossy data visualizations can obscure the unequal impacts and governance failures of the pandemic, AI as an abstract buzzword can be brandished against complex social problems as if it were a neutral and external'solution' rather than a sociotechnical system 14 designed and developed to make value-laden choices and trade-offs.


OK Google, help me sleep better? The new Nest Hub smart display has built-in tech to help

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The newest version of Google's Nest Hub promises better sound – and better sleep. But consumers having trouble sleeping may be more drawn to its new built-in Sleep Sensing technology that uses Google's Soli motion detection chip – first used in the Pixel 4 smartphone – to know how long you slept. The Soli-driven radar does not identify specific bodies or faces, but will watch your movements and breathing, as well as track when you snore or cough to build a pattern of your sleep – and what could be interrupting it. Facebook's vaccine finder:The new tool can help you book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment Google's consumer research found about 20% of Nest Hub displays owned by consumers are in bedrooms. "When we talked to people about what they most wanted help with, they resoundingly responded with'Can you help me get better quality of sleep?' That's what people were really interested in," Ashton Udall, senior Nest product manager, told USA TODAY.


The AI Index 2021 Annual Report

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

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.


AI and ML: Key Drivers to Building a Resilient Business

#artificialintelligence

The previous year has shown us that you have to be prepared for both expected and unexpected disruption, emerging risks, and economic uncertainties. Your business models and operations, employees and technology have to be agile and resilient. New business risks are everywhere. What challenges can organizations expect in the emerging and evolving risk landscape, and how can they overcome them? Ronald van Loon is a Protiviti partner, and recently had the opportunity to examine their study, conducted jointly with North Carolina State University Poole College of Management's Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative, on Executive Perspectives on Top Risks:2021 and 2030 and share his outlook regarding the shifting risk landscape and its impact on modern organizations.


Graph Computing for Financial Crime and Fraud Detection: Trends, Challenges and Outlook

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The rise of digital payments has caused consequential changes in the financial crime landscape. As a result, traditional fraud detection approaches such as rule-based systems have largely become ineffective. AI and machine learning solutions using graph computing principles have gained significant interest in recent years. Graph-based techniques provide unique solution opportunities for financial crime detection. However, implementing such solutions at industrial-scale in real-time financial transaction processing systems has brought numerous application challenges to light. In this paper, we discuss the implementation difficulties current and next-generation graph solutions face. Furthermore, financial crime and digital payments trends indicate emerging challenges in the continued effectiveness of the detection techniques. We analyze the threat landscape and argue that it provides key insights for developing graph-based solutions.


Battling the Weaponizing of AI

#artificialintelligence

"I don't use Facebook anymore," she said. I was leading a usability session for the design of a new mobile app when she stunned me with that statement. It was a few years back, when I was a design research lead at IDEO and we were working on a service design project for a telecommunications company. The design concept we were showing her had a simultaneously innocuous and yet ubiquitous feature -- the ability to log in using Facebook. But the young woman, older than 20, less than 40, balked at that feature and went on to tell me why she didn't trust the social network any more. This session was, of course, in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential election. An election in which a man who many regarded as a television spectacle at best and grandiose charlatan at worst had just been elected to our highest office. Though now in 2020, our democracy remains intact.