Ethics and AI

20 July, 2021

AI ethics champion Margaret Mitchell talks about self-regulation and ‘foresight’ at Transform 2021, an online event on applied AI for enterprise business and technology decision-makers.

Ethics and artificial intelligence have become increasingly intertwined due to the pervasiveness of AI. But researchers, creators, corporations, and governments still face major challenges if they hope to address some of the more pressing concerns around AI’s impact on society. Much of this comes down to foresight — being able to adequately predict what problems a new AI product, feature, or technology could create down the line, rather than focusing purely on short-term benefits. And some of that could solved by greater diversity and inclusion.

“If you do believe in foresight, then it should become part of what you do before you make the product,” AI researcher Margaret Mitchell said during a fireside chat at VentureBeat’s Transform 2021 event. “I think right now, AI ethics is at a stage where it’s seen as the last thing you do, like a policing force or a block to launch. But if you’re taking it seriously, then it needs to be hand in hand with development as a tech-positive thing to do.”

Google fired Margaret Mitchell from her role as Ethical AI lead, shortly after firing her co-lead Timnit Gebru. She soon realised there was significant demand for her skills as an AI ethics researcher, and now works with regulators who needed help with the technical details of AI, and companies that wanted to start operationalising details of AI ethics and bias and fairness and didn’t really know how to do it.

Venture Beat, The Machine, Paul Sawers, July 14, 2021. Read the full article and watch the discussion with Margaret Mitchell here.

Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership’s programs include the 2 day Executive Ethics, 6 day Executive Colloquium and year-long Vincent Fairfax Fellowship. We also deliver online and tailored corporate programs. Find the right program for you. They are all held under the Chatham House Rule to encourage genuine and open debate, and allow participants to candidly discuss sometimes sensitive issues in private while allowing the topic and nature of the debate to be made public, and contribute to a broader conversation. The alumni program offers ongoing leadership development support and a lifelong connection with Cranlana.

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