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.
NeurIPS to require ethical and social impact statements
"NeurIPS has introduced a requirement that all paper submissions include a statement of the “potential broader impact of their work, including its ethical aspects and future societal consequences.” This is an exciting innovation in scientifically informed governance of technology (Hecht et al 2018 & Hecht 2020). It is also an opportunity for authors to think about and better explain the motivation and context for their research to other scientists."
Scientists are drowning in COVID-19 papers. Can new tools keep them afloat?
"Timothy Sheahan, a virologist studying COVID-19, wishes he could keep pace with the growing torrent of new scientific papers about the disease and the novel coronavirus that causes it. But there are just too many—more than 4000 alone last week. “I’m not keeping up,” says Sheahan, who works at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “It’s impossible.”"
AI in the Courtroom: A Comparative Analysis of Machine Evidence in Criminal Trials
"As artificial intelligence (AI) has become more commonplace, the monitoring of human behavior by machines and software bots has created so-called machine evidence. This new type of evidence poses procedural challenges in criminal justice systems across the world due to the fact that they have traditionally been tailored for human testimony. "
The Growing Role Of IoT In COVID-19 Response
"COVID-19 broke out and it’s highly infectious nature was discovered and healthcare professionals all around the world face the challenge of treating the diseased with minimal contact. This pandemic advanced the modification and deployment of IoT devices to support the healthcare sector."
Facebook’s AI is still largely baffled by COVID-19 misinformation
"In its latest Community Standards Enforcement Report, released today, Facebook detailed the updates it has made to its AI systems for detecting hate speech and disinformation. The tech giant says 88.8% of all the hate speech it removed this quarter was detected by AI, up from 80.2% in the previous quarter. The AI can remove content automatically if the system has high confidence that it is hate speech, but most is still checked by a human being first."
2 short pieces from Dr. Joanna Bryson
"I don’t think we are ever going to have anonymity again." from Reflections on AI
Another short piece we missed last week: "Big data" is not a win: the Rumpelstiltskin AI (Rumpelstilzchen KI) fallacy and manifesto
"The Rumpelstiltskin (originally, Rumpelstilzchen) theory of AI is just wrong. You do not automatically get more or better intelligence in proportion to the amount of data you use. "
For all its sophistication, AI isn't fit to make life-or-death decisions
"Following the science’ is a disingenuous policy because mathematical reckoning and human judgments are very different things"
If We're Not Careful, Tech Could Hurt the Fight against COVID-19
"Even well-meant technologies can shift power away from those they purport to help. We have come to recognize that while the desire to help during COVID-19 is right, the rush to push just any COVID-19 technology is wrong and even has the potential to kill."
AI, Robots, and Ethics in the Age of COVID-19
"Before COVID-19, most people had some degree of apprehension about robots and artificial intelligence. Though their beliefs may have been initially shaped by dystopian depictions of the technology in science fiction, their discomfort was reinforced by legitimate concerns. Some of AI’s business applications were indeed leading to the loss of jobs, the reinforcement of biases, and infringements on data privacy.
Those worries appear to have been set aside since the onset of the pandemic as AI-infused technologies have been employed to mitigate the spread of the virus."
Digital epidemiology: the ethics of using health data in a pandemic
"COVID-19 has forced the rapid adoption of digital healthcare – from telehealth to remote monitoring. Digital epidemiology is an area of technological adoption in medicine that can help inform the future of disease surveillance, but there are ethical questions about how this data is used."
Overcoming Barriers to Cross-cultural Cooperation in AI Ethics and Governance
"Achieving the global benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) will require international cooperation on many areas of governance and ethical standards, while allowing for diverse cultural perspectives and priorities. There are many barriers to achieving this at present, including mistrust between cultures, and more practical challenges of coordinating across different locations. This paper focuses particularly on barriers to cooperation between Europe and North America on the one hand and East Asia on the other, as regions which currently have an outsized impact on the development of AI ethics and governance. We suggest that there is reason to be optimistic about achieving greater cross-cultural cooperation on AI ethics and governance.
Special Issue on Algorithmic Bias and Fairness in Search and Recommendation
"We solicit different types of contributions (research papers, surveys, replicability and reproducibility studies, resource papers, systematic review articles) on algorithmic bias in search and recommendation, focused but not limited to the following areas. If in doubt about the suitability, please contact the Guest Editors."
Open Letter: NHS Covid-19 datastore
We urge the NHS to provide answers to all of the questions below and to not proceed with the development of the datastore until the public has had a chance to have their say.
How Congress is shaping data privacy laws during the pandemic
"After saving lives, the most urgent — and hotly debated — problem facing government policymakers in the age of COVID-19 may be how to strike a balance between privacy and public health. The fast-moving and unprecedented story around surveillance tech highlights a long-delayed push for comprehensive consumer data privacy laws, even as privacy advocates grudgingly agree that governments may need to suspend some civil liberties during the pandemic. It’s about a global scramble to stop the spread of COVID-19 and get everyone back to work — without killing privacy or a lot of people in the process."
Let’s Weaponize Social Media Against COVID-19
The WHO recently announced it will look at so-called "nudges" to improve pandemic response.
In this article, Vivek Krishnamurthy argues that:
"It’s time for a different approach to dealing with the scourge of coronavirus-related misinformation—one that leverages the most powerful and dangerous features of online platforms to advance the cause of public health. At this time of crisis, we should harness the very behavioral advertising techniques that have been so widely misused in recent years to help us combat the coronavirus."
How Google and Apple outflanked governments in the race to build coronavirus apps
"Tech giants played hardball in forcing policymakers to fall in line with their approach to building digital tracking tools."
‘Systemic relevance’ and the value of philosophy
"Academic philosophers do not predict the virus’s spread like epidemiologists. They don’t take care of patients in hospitals like nurses, and they do not stack the much-desired toilet paper into supermarket shelves. What, then, is their societal relevance?"