Collaborating Authors


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.

A.I. Breakthrough Could Disrupt the $11 Trillion Medical Sector


A massive disruption now appears imminent in one of the world's largest – and most important – industries. In much the same way that Amazon disrupted the retail business – and how PayPal disrupted the payments industry – one under-the-radar health technology company now seeks to transform the $11.85 trillion global health industry. By moving healthcare away from brick and mortar, traditional medicine into an AI-driven tool that offers unprecedented speed, efficiency, and accuracy... Investors still have a brief window of opportunity to get in on this transformational investment opportunity while it still flies beneath Wall Street's radar. But as you'll soon discover, this company's technology is so powerful that it could become a valuable addition to hundreds of millions of households worldwide. Whether most patients, providers, or large healthcare companies realize it or not, the healthcare industry is already in the early stages of significant change. That's because patients now desire access to more information – and better information – in the blink of an eye. In a recent survey of U.S. health consumers, 71% reported facing major frustrations through their experience with healthcare providers. Concerns ranged from difficulties scheduling appointments to impersonal visits.

On the Opportunities and Risks of Foundation Models 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 Role of Social Movements, Coalitions, and Workers in Resisting Harmful Artificial Intelligence and Contributing to the Development of Responsible AI 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.

Precision Medicine Informatics: Principles, Prospects, and Challenges Artificial Intelligence

Precision Medicine (PM) is an emerging approach that appears with the impression of changing the existing paradigm of medical practice. Recent advances in technological innovations and genetics, and the growing availability of health data have set a new pace of the research and imposes a set of new requirements on different stakeholders. To date, some studies are available that discuss about different aspects of PM. Nevertheless, a holistic representation of those aspects deemed to confer the technological perspective, in relation to applications and challenges, is mostly ignored. In this context, this paper surveys advances in PM from informatics viewpoint and reviews the enabling tools and techniques in a categorized manner. In addition, the study discusses how other technological paradigms including big data, artificial intelligence, and internet of things can be exploited to advance the potentials of PM. Furthermore, the paper provides some guidelines for future research for seamless implementation and wide-scale deployment of PM based on identified open issues and associated challenges. To this end, the paper proposes an integrated holistic framework for PM motivating informatics researchers to design their relevant research works in an appropriate context.

A Question-Entailment Approach to Question Answering Artificial Intelligence

One of the challenges in large-scale information retrieval (IR) is to develop fine-grained and domain-specific methods to answer natural language questions. Despite the availability of numerous sources and datasets for answer retrieval, Question Answering (QA) remains a challenging problem due to the difficulty of the question understanding and answer extraction tasks. One of the promising tracks investigated in QA is to map new questions to formerly answered questions that are `similar'. In this paper, we propose a novel QA approach based on Recognizing Question Entailment (RQE) and we describe the QA system and resources that we built and evaluated on real medical questions. First, we compare machine learning and deep learning methods for RQE using different kinds of datasets, including textual inference, question similarity and entailment in both the open and clinical domains. Second, we combine IR models with the best RQE method to select entailed questions and rank the retrieved answers. To study the end-to-end QA approach, we built the MedQuAD collection of 47,457 question-answer pairs from trusted medical sources, that we introduce and share in the scope of this paper. Following the evaluation process used in TREC 2017 LiveQA, we find that our approach exceeds the best results of the medical task with a 29.8% increase over the best official score. The evaluation results also support the relevance of question entailment for QA and highlight the effectiveness of combining IR and RQE for future QA efforts. Our findings also show that relying on a restricted set of reliable answer sources can bring a substantial improvement in medical QA.