Tech Talk: Ethics and Artificial Intelligence

Date: 21/04/2020

On 21 April Global Knowledge and co-host ITPE welcomed leading experts, Dr Anna Jobin of the Health Ethics & Policy Lab at ETH Zurich and Dr Lorien Pratt, Chief Scientist and co-founder of Quantellia in Silicon Valley, for an online discussion on the ethical aspects of AI technology development, and what best practices may be applied going forward.

A key challenge is to make technology developers focus on ethics, said Dr Pratt, since they are only beginning to understand the full use and implications of the AI technologies themselves. Both speakers agreed that this is a cause for concern since ethical aspects should be considered from the beginning of project development. Dr Pratt added that while this is a problem with many larger companies, startups that she has worked with have taken an integrated approach to ethics more seriously.

Governance was also brought up and Dr Pratt and Dr Jobin agreed that a broader stakeholder inclusion could be built into the development process of AI. They both agreed that while AI presents potential dangers it also has a great potential for good. In this context, the need to remove an “obsession about data” was mentioned – i.e. creating and modelling AI processes purely for the sake of data and not clearly defining the exact purpose of an AI tool. Dr Pratt suggested that this may prevent companies gathering data that they do not need and decrease risk of misuse. 

Press release here.