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

arXiv.org 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.


Technology Ethics in Action: Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

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.


Do You See What I See? Capabilities and Limits of Automated Multimedia Content Analysis

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The ever-increasing amount of user-generated content online has led, in recent years, to an expansion in research and investment in automated content analysis tools. Scrutiny of automated content analysis has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, as social networking services have placed a greater reliance on these tools due to concerns about health risks to their moderation staff from in-person work. At the same time, there are important policy debates around the world about how to improve content moderation while protecting free expression and privacy. In order to advance these debates, we need to understand the potential role of automated content analysis tools. This paper explains the capabilities and limitations of tools for analyzing online multimedia content and highlights the potential risks of using these tools at scale without accounting for their limitations. It focuses on two main categories of tools: matching models and computer prediction models. Matching models include cryptographic and perceptual hashing, which compare user-generated content with existing and known content. Predictive models (including computer vision and computer audition) are machine learning techniques that aim to identify characteristics of new or previously unknown content.


Ethical and social risks of harm from Language Models

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This paper aims to help structure the risk landscape associated with large-scale Language Models (LMs). In order to foster advances in responsible innovation, an in-depth understanding of the potential risks posed by these models is needed. A wide range of established and anticipated risks are analysed in detail, drawing on multidisciplinary expertise and literature from computer science, linguistics, and social sciences. We outline six specific risk areas: I. Discrimination, Exclusion and Toxicity, II. Information Hazards, III. Misinformation Harms, V. Malicious Uses, V. Human-Computer Interaction Harms, VI. Automation, Access, and Environmental Harms. The first area concerns the perpetuation of stereotypes, unfair discrimination, exclusionary norms, toxic language, and lower performance by social group for LMs. The second focuses on risks from private data leaks or LMs correctly inferring sensitive information. The third addresses risks arising from poor, false or misleading information including in sensitive domains, and knock-on risks such as the erosion of trust in shared information. The fourth considers risks from actors who try to use LMs to cause harm. The fifth focuses on risks specific to LLMs used to underpin conversational agents that interact with human users, including unsafe use, manipulation or deception. The sixth discusses the risk of environmental harm, job automation, and other challenges that may have a disparate effect on different social groups or communities. In total, we review 21 risks in-depth. We discuss the points of origin of different risks and point to potential mitigation approaches. Lastly, we discuss organisational responsibilities in implementing mitigations, and the role of collaboration and participation. We highlight directions for further research, particularly on expanding the toolkit for assessing and evaluating the outlined risks in LMs.


UNESCO Member States Adopt Global Agreement on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

The United Nations organization said developments in artificial intelligence should abide by the rule of law, avoid harm, and ensure that when harm happens, accountability and redress mechanisms are available for those affected. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, presented Thursday the first ever global standard on the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI) adopted by the member states of UNESCO at the General Conference. This historical text defines the common values and principles which will guide the construction of the necessary legal infrastructure to ensure the healthy development of AI. AI is pervasive, and enables many of our daily routines: booking flights, steering driverless cars, and personalising our morning news feeds. AI also supports the decision-making of governments and the private sector. AI technologies are delivering remarkable results in highly specialized fields such as cancer screening and building inclusive environments for people with disabilities.


Survey XII: What Is the Future of Ethical AI Design? – Imagining the Internet

#artificialintelligence

Results released June 16, 2021 – Pew Research Center and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center asked experts where they thought efforts aimed at ethical artificial intelligence design would stand in the year 2030. Some 602 technology innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists responded to this specific question. The Question – Regarding the application of AI Ethics by 2030: In recent years, there have been scores of convenings and even more papers generated proposing ethical frameworks for the application of artificial intelligence (AI). They cover a host of issues including transparency, justice and fairness, privacy, freedom and human autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence, freedom, trust, sustainability and dignity. Our questions here seek your predictions about the possibilities for such efforts. By 2030, will most of the AI systems being used by organizations of all sorts employ ethical principles focused primarily on the public ...


On the Opportunities and Risks of Foundation Models

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

AI is undergoing a paradigm shift with the rise of models (e.g., BERT, DALL-E, GPT-3) that are trained on broad data at scale and are adaptable to a wide range of downstream tasks. We call these models foundation models to underscore their critically central yet incomplete character. This report provides a thorough account of the opportunities and risks of foundation models, ranging from their capabilities (e.g., language, vision, robotics, reasoning, human interaction) and technical principles(e.g., model architectures, training procedures, data, systems, security, evaluation, theory) to their applications (e.g., law, healthcare, education) and societal impact (e.g., inequity, misuse, economic and environmental impact, legal and ethical considerations). Though foundation models are based on standard deep learning and transfer learning, their scale results in new emergent capabilities,and their effectiveness across so many tasks incentivizes homogenization. Homogenization provides powerful leverage but demands caution, as the defects of the foundation model are inherited by all the adapted models downstream. Despite the impending widespread deployment of foundation models, we currently lack a clear understanding of how they work, when they fail, and what they are even capable of due to their emergent properties. To tackle these questions, we believe much of the critical research on foundation models will require deep interdisciplinary collaboration commensurate with their fundamentally sociotechnical nature.


The State of AI Ethics Report (Volume 5)

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This report from the Montreal AI Ethics Institute covers the most salient progress in research and reporting over the second quarter of 2021 in the field of AI ethics with a special emphasis on "Environment and AI", "Creativity and AI", and "Geopolitics and AI." The report also features an exclusive piece titled "Critical Race Quantum Computer" that applies ideas from quantum physics to explain the complexities of human characteristics and how they can and should shape our interactions with each other. The report also features special contributions on the subject of pedagogy in AI ethics, sociology and AI ethics, and organizational challenges to implementing AI ethics in practice. Given MAIEI's mission to highlight scholars from around the world working on AI ethics issues, the report also features two spotlights sharing the work of scholars operating in Singapore and Mexico helping to shape policy measures as they relate to the responsible use of technology. The report also has an extensive section covering the gamut of issues when it comes to the societal impacts of AI covering areas of bias, privacy, transparency, accountability, fairness, interpretability, disinformation, policymaking, law, regulations, and moral philosophy.


The Role of Social Movements, Coalitions, and Workers in Resisting Harmful Artificial Intelligence and Contributing to the Development of Responsible AI

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

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.


The State of AI Ethics Report (Volume 4)

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The 4th 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 January 2021. 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, with a particular focus on four key themes: Ethical AI, Fairness & Justice, Humans & Tech, and Privacy. 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. Opening the report is a long-form piece by Edward Higgs (Professor of History, University of Essex) titled "AI and the Face: A Historian's View." In it, Higgs examines the unscientific history of facial analysis and how AI might be repeating some of those mistakes at scale. The report also features chapter introductions by Alexa Hagerty (Anthropologist, University of Cambridge), Marianna Ganapini (Faculty Director, Montreal AI Ethics Institute), Deborah G. Johnson (Emeritus Professor, Engineering and Society, University of Virginia), and Soraj Hongladarom (Professor of Philosophy and Director, Center for Science, Technology and Society, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok). 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.