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Session Overview
Roundtable-04: Artificial Intelligence and a Good Society
Friday, 20/Oct/2017:
9:00am - 10:30am

Location: Dorpat - Struve II
Soola 6, Tartu 51013, Estonia

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Artificial Intelligence and a Good Society: What Challenges? What Opportunities?

Corinne Johanna Nicoline Cath1,2, Michael Zimmer3, Stine Lomborg4, Berndert Zevenbergen1

1University of Oxford, United Kingdom; 2Alan Turing Institute; 3University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee; 4University of Copenhagen

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer sci-fi. From driverless cars to the use of machine learning algorithms to improved healthcare services, AI and its underlying algorithms are shaping a fast-growing number of fundamental aspects of our societies. Technologies in which vital decision making is automated – for instance in financial markets, credit scoring, or sentencing – are deployed in society with still limited understanding of their effects. Often, these technologies unfairly disadvantage minorities, social groups, or communities of colour.

There is a tension between the rapid pace of technical development of these new smart technologies and academic research. A growing body of literature on improving the auditability and transparency of algorithms is being developed. Yet, there is a lack of shared understanding about the fundamental issues at the heart of the debate on AI, algorithms, and ethics. This tension is leading to a renewed academic focus on the questions of AI and the “Good Society”, specifically on the ethical impact of AI and algorithms on society.

This roundtable will bring together researchers from various fields to share their perspectives on the ethical implications of AI and algorithms in fostering the “Good Society”. We will facilitate a cross-disciplinary conversation about the challenges and opportunities of AI, and look at what role academic research should play in shaping the debate on the ethical impact of AI on society. We will first hear from our various panellists, including: Privacy and Internet expert Professor Michael Zimmer, Privacy Legal expert Ben Zevenbergen, and Data Ethics expert Professor Stine Lomborg. After which, we will open the floor to discussion and reflect upon what can be done and what should be done to ensure that our new smart technologies will be at the service of the human project, and not vice versa.

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