Collaborating Authors


Why inclusivity is studentship rather than leadership


Tom Peters, author of Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism speaks about the importance and value of diversity and inclusion for hiring and team building, performance management, and lifelong learning.

Tradeoff determination for ethics, safety, and inclusivity in AI systems


Design decisions for AI systems involve value judgements and optimization choices. Some relate to technical considerations like latency and accuracy, others relate to business metrics. But each require careful consideration as they have consequences in the final outcome from the system. To be clear, not everything has to translate into a tradeoff. There are often smart reformulations of a problem so that you can meet the needs of your users and customers while also satisfying internal business considerations.

Apple's latest Siri voice update is a baby step towards inclusivity


It looks like Apple is finally acknowledging that Siri's default female voice isn't a good look. According to TechCrunch, the latest public betas for iOS and iPadOS require users to select their preferred voice for Siri. The update is currently rolling out as part of beta 6, which is the newest version of iOS and iPadOS 14.5. After downloading and installing it, users will be be instructed to choose Siri's voice. Apple also added two new voices, but they're not exactly gender neutral -- one sounds feminine and the other is more masculine.

Why universities will need to digitalise to survive


Why universities will need to digitalise to survive Dave Sherwood 27 February 2021 Universities, and the role they play in society, are under threat from the impact of the ongoing pandemic. While rarely a sector in financial crisis, university leaders in seven of the higher education systems in Europe now predict a fall in core national funding as a result of COVID-19, compounding the huge hits universities have taken on rental and commercial services and contractual research. Fourteen national university sectors in Europe have also predicted a fall in income from international students, with travel restrictions limiting student mobility. Estimates of losses to the United Kingdom university sector range from £3 billion (US4.2 billion) to £19 billion (US$26.7 billion) per year as a result of the coronavirus, while the picture is no less bleak across the pond. The University of Michigan alone anticipates losses of up to US$1 billion this year across its three campuses.

Podcast: Attention shoppers–you're being tracked

MIT Technology Review

In some stores, sophisticated systems are tracking customers in almost every imaginable way, from recognizing their faces to gauging their age, their mood, and virtually gussying them up with makeup. The systems rarely ask for people's permission, and for the most part they don't have to. In our season 1 finale, we look at the explosion of AI and face recognition technologies in retail spaces, and what it means for the future of shopping. This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green, Tate Ryan-Mosley, Emma Cillekens and Karen Hao. Strong: Retailers have been using face recognition and AI tracking technologies for years. And what if you could know about the presence of violent criminals before they act? With Face First you can stop crime before it starts.] It detects faces, voices, objects and claims it can analyze behavior. But face recognition systems have a well-documented history of misidentifying women and people of color. And they're trying to sell it and impose it on the entirety of the country?] Strong: This is Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a 2019 congressional hearing on facial recognition.

National ambitions = dodgy AI policy and deployment?


An annual report by a consulting firm to world governments uncovers an interesting pattern when it comes to the responsible use of AI. According data developed by consultant Oxford Insights, with one debatable exception, none of the top 15 countries ranked for their responsible use of AI could reasonably be considered to have strategic ambitions to dominate globally or even their region. The report, which looked broadly at the AI readiness of world governments, created a sub-ranking focused on how responsible governments are being in four "dimensions" -- inclusivity, accountability, privacy and transparency. Rank was measured using nine indicators grouped under each dimension. Japan, which recently began debating an outward-facing military that operates independent of the United States, ranked No. 15.

Focus: Orange Group explains its AI and data strategy


Orange launched its strategic plan for the next five years, Engage 2025, last December and AI-enabled innovation was one of the four pillars of the group's future success. This breaks into four parts, as shown below. The 2025 strategy states, "Our ambition is as strong as our social commitments are firm. And we will never think of one without the other" (see last section of article on inclusivity). Lugagne-Delpon said at the online briefing, "We believe that AI can bring value to almost every phase of the network lifecycle – so network planning and design to optimise the efficiency of investment, operations for advanced monitoring, smarter maintenance and better security, and also optimisation to populate a number of operation processes and also optimise the performance and the use of resources." He went on to describe a number of use cases.

A beginner's guide to the best porn games: What to play and what you should know


August 8 is International Female Orgasm Day, and we're celebrating with an entire week dedicated to exploring the business and pleasure of porn. Porn video games come with a lot of stigma, and understandably so. But if you push through all that, you'll find there actually are some really good, very NSFW adult games out there. It won't surprise you that many of the most popular adult games share similar issues to regular mainstream Tube porn - aggressive heternormativity and a near-exclusive catering to a cis, male gaze. Still, the world of adult sex games is far more expansive, diverse, and varied than people think. And, finding the right erotic game for you can help open you up to new aspects of your sexuality you'd never thought about before.

AI and Accessibility

Communications of the ACM

According to the World Health Organization, more than one billion people worldwide have disabilities. The field of disability studies defines disability through a social lens; people are disabled to the extent that society creates accessibility barriers. AI technologies offer the possibility of removing many accessibility barriers; for example, computer vision might help people who are blind better sense the visual world, speech recognition and translation technologies might offer real-time captioning for people who are hard of hearing, and new robotic systems might augment the capabilities of people with limited mobility. Considering the needs of users with disabilities can help technologists identify high-impact challenges whose solutions can advance the state of AI for all users; however, ethical challenges such as inclusivity, bias, privacy, error, expectation setting, simulated data, and social acceptability must be considered. The inclusivity of AI systems refers to whether they are effective for diverse user populations.

Diversity and Inclusion Metrics in Subset Selection Artificial Intelligence

The ethical concept of fairness has recently been applied in machine learning (ML) settings to describe a wide range of constraints and objectives. When considering the relevance of ethical concepts to subset selection problems, the concepts of diversity and inclusion are additionally applicable in order to create outputs that account for social power and access differentials. We introduce metrics based on these concepts, which can be applied together, separately, and in tandem with additional fairness constraints. Results from human subject experiments lend support to the proposed criteria. Social choice methods can additionally be leveraged to aggregate and choose preferable sets, and we detail how these may be applied.