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As Artificial Intelligence continues to rapidly transform various industries and everyday life, AI ethics is increasingly important to examine. What is the impact of unleashing powerful tools? What information are the tools being trained on? How do we ensure AI is not rooted in biases? What will the term “original work” mean in the coming years?
Some key AI ethics debates include concerns around:
Critical discussions around the nature of future policies are happening as we speak. Here is a list of AI ethics experts who are leading the way in conversations around AI ethics.
As a former co-lead of the Ethical AI team at Google, Gebru played a pivotal role in uncovering biases in AI systems and advocating for more transparent and inclusive practices. In fact, Gebru left Google after internally voicing experiences of racism, sexism, and censorship in the workplace. After graduating from Stanford University, the computer scientist entered the AI scene as a trailblazer, co-founding Black in AI, a community of African-American researchers in the field of artificial intelligence. In late 2021, Gebru founded the Distributed AI Research Institute, where those interested can communally research AI without the influence of Big Tech. Through her prominent research and various works, Gebru has become a pioneer in advocating for gender and racial diversity in technology and AI:
“It is not surprising that the field has been moving in a direction promising an ‘unimaginably great future’ while proliferating products harming marginalized groups in the now.”
The co-founder of now Google-acquired AI juggernaut DeepMind – a research laboratory for the advancement of machine learning – has stood strong on his beliefs for the prioritization of transparency and safety regarding AI ethics. Suleyman created the Ethics and Society division at DeepMind to pursue these goals. After leaving DeepMind, the British founder continued to spread his message for AI activism. He started Partnership on AI, a non-profit community of industry professionals aiming to answer difficult questions on AI’s future. Suleyman’s latest initiative Inflection AI looks to serve as the first AI-based personal assistant, emphasizing “respect and inclusivity” as its core values.
Known for her groundbreaking research at the MIT Media Lab, Buolamwini founded the Algorithmic Justice League to fight bias in decision-making software. The self proclaimed “poet of code,” Buolamwini has used her talents to focus on racial and gender discrimination in AI facial recognition technology, pushing for critical reforms in this sector. She has advocated at the world’s biggest stages, including the United Nations and the World Economic Forum (WEC). Her TED Talk addressing these biases and to push for AI ethics has amassed millions of views.
Rumman Chowdhury can be consistently found at the frontlines of AI Ethics. As the former Responsible Artificial Intelligence Lead at Accenture and, most recently, the Director of Machine Learning Ethics, Transparency, and Accountability at Twitter, Chowdhury has made a multitude of progress in the social implications of AI. The MIT graduate has been awarded various prestigious awards for her work to diversify recruitment using AI, as well as defining AI ethics and governance for large-scale companies. She continues to publish research and think pieces on how to best approach these powerful new advancements.
Awarded the A.M. Turing Award in 2018, otherwise known as the “Nobel Prize of Computing,” Bengio is globally recognized as a leading expert in AI ethics. His accomplishments include holding prestigious royal honors in Canada, London, and France, and founding Quebec’s AI Institute “Mila.” Bengio currently publishes articles about the dystopian futures of unregulated AI and continues to be a leader at the Montreal Declaration for the Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence.
When it comes to accolades within the world of AI, look no further than Kate Crawford. The Microsoft Senior Principal Researcher has become a leading voice in AI ethics, from co-founding the AI Now Institute at NYU to publishing award-winning articles on social change in AI as well as her book Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence at Yale University. In her writing she emphasizes the dire social implications of unregulated AI, zoning in on pressing issues such as labor, bias, and power dynamics.
“Like all technologies before it, artificial intelligence will reflect the values of its creators. So inclusivity matters – from who designs it to who sits on the company boards and which ethical perspectives are included.” ~ Kate Crawford
The Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence is a prime example of global leaders and thinkers initiating discourse on the practice of Responsible AI. As the co-chair of both this initiative as well as AI for Humanity at the WEF, Chatila is a strong advocate for AI ethics regarding climate and inclusivity. More specifically, Chatila urges to embed responsible AI principles into climate tech initiatives, like neutrality and the inclusion of participants from all walks of life. In addition to these high-level positions, Chatila is actively addressing the current obstacles previously mentioned to new generations as a Professor of Robotics, AI and Ethics in Paris.
As the Founder and CEO of Fiddler Labs, Grade strives to make AI trustworthy for all parties. Using their previous experience in high-level roles at Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft, Gade has seen firsthand the biases that play into machine learning development, and has taken responsibility into their own hands in order to combat it. Their startup Fiddler addresses fairness and transparency in AI by monitoring and detecting biases in company datasets.
As the Chief AI Ethics Officer for the US Army, Barnes has cemented himself as an advisor to national leaders and government officials on how to advance policy in military capabilities. Named on Forbes’ “Top 15 AI Ethicists,” Barnes has played a crucial role in developing the entire US Army’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy, and has now taken on his personal initiative David Barnes LLC, where he aims to consult business and government leaders on empowering responsible AI in their fields.
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