Stakeholders Collectively Designing Future Of Artificial Intelligence 14/06/2017 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Designing a world where humans have to share space with robots is not an easy task. Several initiatives are looking at ways to address issues linked to the main fuel of artificial intelligence: data. Such issues include privacy, data ownership and sharing, but also making sure that artificial intelligence will not widen the existing digital divide. Speakers at a global summit last week provided insight on ongoing efforts to understand and best tackle the inevitable and sometimes unforeseen problems of this new territory. The AI (Artificial Intelligence) for Good Global Summit jointly organised by the International Telecommunication Union, and XPRIZE, took place from 7-9 June. Robots The summit sought to explore the extent of changes brought by the proliferation of ever smarter machines, and what role AI innovation will have in the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. AI is generally seen as a means to help humanity solve its greatest challenges, but at what societal costs, was also a question considered by attendees of the summit. The event was organised around common (plenary) sessions and “breakthrough” groups instructed to discuss different issues, and report back with some suggested solutions. One of the breakthrough groups on 9 June considered approaches by governments, industries, and other stakeholders on designing the future. Ekkhard Ernst, chief of the Macroeconomic Policies and Jobs Unit, Research Department, at the UN International Labour Organization, said the most important thing is not only to provide open access to data collected but also to the AI infrastructure. Access to basic AI infrastructure is particularly important for developing countries, he said. An important question is how to guarantee data privacy, and guidelines are needed in this area, he said. Increased literacy on big data and increased transparency on how this data is being used would alleviate some privacy concerns, he said. Ethical Considerations, Essential Questions Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standards Association, talked about the Global Initiative for Ethical Consideration in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, hosted by IEEE. The Global Initiative, which is “the world’s largest technical professional organization,” is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity with over 400,000 members in more than 160 countries,” according to the IEEE [pdf]. The global initiative launched a document in December: the first version of “Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Wellbeing with Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems.” The document encourages technologists to prioritise ethical considerations in the creation of autonomous and intelligent technologies. At the summit, Karachalios said the global initiative is about educating “ourselves to deliver better products and better rules globally.” The Ethically Aligned Design is a platform to encourage collective work around AI and to propose high-level recommendations, he said. A version 2 of the document is in preparation, he said, calling on everyone to give input. The new version will look into international collaboration and particular issues of developing countries. It is a matter of finding ways to AI leading to more inclusiveness, not widening the gap, he said, remarking that information communication technology, of which AI is part, has widened the gap. From his perspective, there are three important questions. The first is, “Do these technologies … reduce inequalities in our societies?” ICT has increased inequalities, polarised the society, and squeezed the middle class, which has created significant political problems in western societies, he said. The second question is “will AI reduce inequalities among countries, or will it increase the gap?” Countries like China could advance, he said, as it has a large market, a big population and will be able to gather data, but “what about the others?” he asked. The third question is “Will these technologies narrow or widen our space … for political autonomy, ” he said. “We should not be afraid to ask these questions.” Industry Joined by Others to Brainstorm Francesca Rossi, professor at the University of Padova, Italy, and research scientist at IBM Watson, talked about the partnership on AI to benefit people and society, which is a group of large companies that decided to address the issues around AI and determine best practices. The founding partners include Apple, Amazon, IBM, Google and Microsoft. The partnership was later joined by other companies, such as eBay, Intel, and Sony. “We also wanted this initiative to include other stakeholders,” she said, explaining that civil society representatives, nongovernmental organisations, and intergovernmental actors. Non-industry partners include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Centre for Internet and Society, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Future of Humanity Institute, Human Rights Watch, UNICEF, and XPRIZE. The goals of the partnership are to understand what the main issues are “in the pervasive use of Ai in our lives,” economic and societal impacts, such as data policy, data privacy, data ownership, and sharing. All stakeholders should be aware of the capabilities and the limitations of AI, she said. A number of issues have been identified for further focus over the next two years, she said, such as safety, trustworthiness and transparency. IBM Watson, as explained by Whatis.com is “an IBM supercomputer that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated analytical software for optimal performance as a ‘question answering’ machine.” According to Technopedia, “IBM’s Watson supercomputer is a question-answering supercomputer that uses artificial intelligence to perform cognitive computing and data analysis. With a processing rate of 80 teraflops, Watson performs deep-level input analysis to present accurate answers to questions generated by humans.“ Gates Foundation: Public-Private Partnerships Key Uyi Stewart, head of strategy and data at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also underlined the importance of not creating another digital divide with AI, and thinking of how to be inclusive. Stewart, who was formerly the chief scientist and co-founder of IBM research in Africa, explained the work done through a public-private partnership established with the government of Kenya. Students in local universities were given AI tools allowing them to collect data from the government, then use IBM Watson to analyse the data. As a result, by today, he said, Kenya is ranked as a “top reform country” on the World Bank Ease of doing business ranking. Image Credits: Flickr – Lance Robotson – Artificial Intelligence Lab Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Stakeholders Collectively Designing Future Of Artificial Intelligence" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.