A recent story in Time Magazine entitled, “Meet the Researchers Working to Make Sure Artificial Intelligence Is a Force for Good,” profiles the members of this research network. An excerpt:
[R]esearchers in AI ethics tend to agree that more needs to be done to ensure AI is working for our benefit. Of the experts who spoke with TIME, all agreed that regulation would help matters. As Lilly Irani, professor of communication, science studies and critical gender studies at the University of California San Diego puts it, “we can’t have a system where people are just harmed, harmed, harmed, and we rely on them to scream.”
The path forward for ethical AI isn’t straightforward. Christian Sandvig, professor of digital media at the University of Michigan and director of ESC (and also a plaintiff in the 2016 suit against the Justice Department) worries that genuine calls for change in the AI field could be derailed in a process he calls “ethics-washing,” in which efforts to create more ethical AI look good on paper, but don’t actually accomplish much. Ethics-washing, Sandvig says, “make[s] it seem as though transformational change has occurred by liberally applying the word ‘ethics’ as though it were paint.”
The story also includes two short embedded videos (about 2 minutes total).