Welcome to the EI weekly round-up; a curation of quality posts to help you cut through the noise and get right to the heart of the discussion on AI and Tech Ethics.
Every Tuesday we publish a list of links to articles and debates that have happened over the past week in the community, allowing you to stay as up-to-date as possible on developments and facts. We will often link to arguments from all sides of the debate, even if the opinions may be controversial. We would like to mention, however, that EI does not endorse any of the information published, all links are reflections of the author's opinions and not that of Ethical Intelligence.
How to Design AI for Social Good: Seven Essential Factors
"The idea of artificial intelligence for social good (henceforth AI4SG) is gaining traction within information societies in general and the AI community in particular. It has the potential to tackle social problems through the development of AI-based solutions. Yet, to date, there is only limited understanding of what makes AI socially good in theory, what counts as AI4SG in practice, and how to reproduce its initial successes in terms of policies. This article addresses this gap by identifying seven ethical factors that are essential for future AI4SG initiatives. The analysis is supported by 27 case examples of AI4SG projects. Some of these factors are almost entirely novel to AI, while the significance of other factors is heightened by the use of AI. From each of these factors, corresponding best practices are formulated which, subject to context and balance, may serve as preliminary guidelines to ensure that well-designed AI is more likely to serve the social good."
A guide to healthy skepticism of artificial intelligence and coronavirus
"The COVID-19 outbreak has spurred considerable news coverage about the ways artificial intelligence (AI) can combat the pandemic’s spread. Unfortunately, much of it has failed to be appropriately skeptical about the claims of AI’s value. Like many tools, AI has a role to play, but its effect on the outbreak is probably small. While this may change in the future, technologies like data reporting, telemedicine, and conventional diagnostic tools are currently far more impactful than AI."
Ethical Implications of the Use of AI to Manage the COVID-19 Outbreak
"In the process of managing this pandemic, many artificial intel-ligence (AI) -based tools have been used (or their potential has been discussed) in order to gather and analyze relevant data, develop treatments, make medical decisions, track infected populations and manage quarantines and information dissemi-nation. In this Research Brief, we outline some of the current and potential uses for AI-based tools in managing pandemics and discuss the ethical implications of these efforts."
You Really Don’t Want to Sell Your Data
"Proposals that would let people sell their information seem empowering—but they aren’t."
What are people for? Employment and the real existential threat of AI
"When people choose to pretend that the machines themselves have agency, they allow the people who programmed them, designed them, sold them, bought them, determined how to use them, operated them, or were supposed to regulate and check them – all these people are let off the hook from having done their jobs appropriately, if we allow anyone to say that the machine is the one that acted"
Want to get better at sports? Listen to the Machines
Companies are now "...using the pattern-recognizing power of machine learning to revolutionize coaching and make advanced analytics available to teams of all kinds."
"Seattle Sports Sciences uses Labelbox, a training data platform that allows Mr. Milton’s data science team in Seattle to work with shifts of workers in India who label data 24 hours a day. “That’s how fast you have to move to compete in modern vision A.I.,” Mr. Milton said. “It’s basically a labeling arms race"
Prof. Joanna Bryson interviewed on the ethical challenges of digitalization
"...we turn to ethics. What is the trade-off between privacy and security? Can we have a thriving society and innovations without a freedom of speech? Does a digital revolution mean that we also need a revolution in governance? Will artificial general intelligence (AGI) substitute doctors and teachers in the future? Joanna Bryson, Professor of Ethics and Technology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, talks about the ethical challenges we face in the process of digitalization – in the time of coronavirus crisis and beyond. "
COVID-19 and Digital Contact Tracing
This has been a hot topic in the last few weeks, and we've collected a few particularly interesting pieces here.
Since the TraceTogether App has been a major inspiration for DCT, this article helps contextualize the contact tracing efforts in South Korea.
And here's a post from the product lead of TraceTogether, that helps give further background on their work:
There's a nice roundup of the privacy concerns with contact tracing here:
And also from Merve Hickok:
There are a core set of privacy concerns with DCT that we might address through technical means, and legal protections.
Here's some model legislation that illustrates the sort of legal protections we might require:
And here's a thread from one of the people behind Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing that helps explain some of the best techincal tools we have available to protect privacy:
Cansu Canca argues that to make privacy-preserving work equitably, it must be mandatory.
At the core of many worries about DCT is a concern that whatever temporary concessions we make to help combat COVID-19 will become permanent.
Jathan Sadowski draws an analogy with 9/11, which spurred emergency measures that reduced freedom from surveillance that remain in effect today.
Ryan Calo, in evidence to the US House Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, summarizes some of the reasons why we should be cautious about DCT:
This short essay by Dr. Hannah C. McLane reminds us that "If we strictly adhere to ‘save the most lives’ principle, we will be treating more white people, more men, more wealthy people"
We've got a piece of our own up from @andrewbuzzell on using DCT to track COVID-19 COVID-19 Digital Contact Tracing - Launch it fast and debug it live. What could go wrong?