Collaborating Authors

Social & Ethical Issues

Has artificial intelligence (AI) come alive like in sci-fi movies? This Google engineer thinks so


If you have ever interacted with a chatbot you know we're still years away from those things convincing you that you are chatting with a real human. That's no surprise as many chatbots do not actually use machine learning to converse more naturally. Instead only completing scripted actions based on keywords. A good chatbot that truly utilises machine learning can fool you into thinking that you're talking to a human. In fact, a program from 1965 fooled people into thinking that it was a human.

Ethical AI Lapses Happen When No One Is Watching


Transparency often plays a key role in ethical business dilemmas -- the more information we have, the easier it is to determine what are acceptable and unacceptable outcomes. If financials are misaligned, who made an accounting error? If data is breached, who was responsible for securing it and were they acting properly? Click here to view original web page at

Artificial Intelligence (7 weeks)


This course explores the idea of artificial intelligence (A.I.) from three different perspectives: scientific, philosophical, and cultural. The scientific perspective provides insight as to how artificial intelligence technologies work, the current limitations, and supposed future potential. The philosophical perspective explores whether A.I. is good or bad, essential or dangerous, and what the future could hold. The cultural angle examines how society views A.I. and whether these views are accurate. Toward the end of the course deeper topics will be introduced including how A.I. compares to human intelligence, the singularity, and futurism.

Federal Government Proposes New Law to Regulate Artificial Intelligence Systems


On June 16, 2022, the federal government introduced Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022 (Bill C-27 or Bill). If passed, the Bill would significantly reform federal private-sector privacy law. It would also introduce rules to regulate "high-impact" artificial intelligence (AI) systems under a new Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA). Like the EU's recent proposal, the AIDA would take a harm-based approach to regulating AI by creating new obligations for yet-to-be-defined "high-impact systems." Below we provide an overview of the new proposal to regulate AI systems. Be sure to read our companion Blakes Bulletin on Bill C-27's proposals to reform private-sector privacy laws.

Debate over AI sentience marks a watershed moment


We are excited to bring Transform 2022 back in-person July 19 and virtually July 20 - 28. Join AI and data leaders for insightful talks and exciting networking opportunities. The AI field is at a significant turning point. On the one hand, engineers, ethicists, and philosophers are publicly debating whether new AI systems such as LaMDA – Google's artificially intelligent chatbot generator – have demonstrated sentience, and (if so) whether they should be afforded human rights. At the same time, much of the advance in AI in recent years, is based on deep learning neural networks, yet there is a growing argument from AI luminaries such as Gary Marcus and Yann LeCun that these networks cannot lead to systems capable of sentience or consciousness. Just the fact that the industry is having this debate is a watershed moment.

AI and the ghost in the machine: Losing human jobs is the least of our worries


Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming a bigger part of our world, which has raised ethical questions and words of caution. Hollywood has foreshadowed the lethal downside of AI many times over but two iconic films illustrate problems we might soon face. In "2001: A Space Odyssey," the ship is controlled by the HAL 9000 computer. It reads the lips of the astronauts as they share their misgivings about the system and their intention to disconnect it. In the most famous scene, Keir Dullea's Dave Bowman is trapped in an airlock. He says, "Open the pod bay doors, HAL."

What is AI governance?


We are excited to bring Transform 2022 back in-person July 19 and virtually July 20 - 28. Join AI and data leaders for insightful talks and exciting networking opportunities. All computer algorithms must follow rules and live within the realm of societal law, just like the humans who create them. In many cases, the consequences are so small that the idea of governing them isn't worth considering. Lately, though, some artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms have been taking on roles so significant that scientists have begun to consider just what it means to govern or control the behavior of the algorithms. For example, artificial intelligence algorithms are now making decisions about sentencing in criminal trials, deciding eligibility for housing, or setting the price of insurance.

Should We Worry About Artificial Intelligence (AI)? - Coding Dojo Blog


Humanity at a Crossroads--Artificial Intelligence is one of the most intriguing topics today, filled with various arguments and views on whether it's a blessing or a threat to humanity. We might be at the crossroads, but what if AI itself is already crossing the line? If we look at "I, Robot," a sci-fi film that takes place in Chicago circa 2035, highly intelligent robots powered by artificial intelligence fill public service positions and have taken over all the menial jobs, including garbage collection, cooking, and even dog walking throughout the world. The movie came out in 2004 starring Will Smith as Detective Del Spooner who eventually discovers a conspiracy in which AI-powered robots may enslave and hurt the human race. Stephen Hawking, famed physicist, also once said: "Success in creating effective AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. So we can't know for sure if we'll be infinitely helped by AI, or ignored by it and side-lined, or conceivably destroyed by it."

DALL-E 2 Made Its First Magazine Cover


The group, composed of editors from Cosmopolitan, members of artificial-intelligence research lab OpenAI, and a digital artist--Karen X. Cheng, the first "real-world" person granted access to the computer system they're all using--are working together, with this system, to try to create the world's first magazine cover designed by artificial intelligence. Sure, there have been other stabs. AI has been around since the 1950s, and many publications have experimented with AI-created images as the technology has lurched and leaped forward over the past 70 years. Just last week, The Economist used an AI bot to generate an image for its report on the state of AI technology and featured that image as an inset on its cover. This Cosmo cover is the first attempt to go the whole nine yards. "It looks like Mary Poppins," says Mallory Roynon, creative director of Cosmopolitan, who appears unruffled by the fact that she's directing an algorithm to assist with one of the more important functions of her job.

Embracing Critical Voices

Communications of the ACM

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." I am delighted to be joining Communications as a chair for the Viewpoints section. My goal is to fill Viewpoints with challenging and thought-provoking opinions from a diverse set of voices within the computing community including younger members, members with suggestions for changes in how ACM operates, and researchers in the social sciences who study the impact of computing technologies.