AI Ethics Weekly – April 19: AI, Coronavirus, and the Law of Unintended Consequences

AI Ethics Weekly – April 19: AI, Coronavirus, and the Law of Unintended Consequences
April 20, 2020 LH3_Admin

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Millions of Women are the Most Essential Workers in America according to the New York Times as one in three jobs held by women has been designated as essential. According to ILO estimates, the pandemic could cost between 5 million and 25 million jobs. Disaggregated data and targeted policies will be needed to ensure that the economic (and non-economic) impacts are not shouldered disproportionately by women. Read more about COVID-19 and gender: What do we know and what we need to know.

You can run but you can’t hide. 

This excellent synopsis by EFF clearly outlines the Challenge of Proximity Apps For COVID-19 Contact Tracing and the privacy risks to technology users. There’s a major privacy battle brewing over contact tracing as Europe’s PEPP-PT COVID-19 contacts tracing standard push faces fierce criticism from privacy and security experts, which has led to greater interest in an alternative Decentralised Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (DP-3T) “an open protocol for COVID-19 proximity tracing that ensures personal data and computation stays entirely on an individual’s phone”.

This great piece by the Guardian describes how solutionist responses to this pandemic disaster from government and big tech are taking the surveillance state to the next level. Speaking of privacy, surveillance startup Clearview is back and this time it’s in “discussions with state agencies about using its technology to track patients infected by the coronavirus.”

Are we there yet? 

Social distancing has folks wondering if Covid-19 will speed up the use of robots to replace human workers? While Stanford HAI’s COVID-19 and AI conference discussed various use cases for AI during this pandemic, some suggest that a healthy skepticism of artificial intelligence is warranted and others think governments like Europe need more guts when it comes to AI ethics.

Folks over at BestGamingPro shared how AI researchers are proposing ‘bias bounties’ to put ethics principles into practice. Read this full research report, which outlines various steps different stakeholders can take to improve the verifiability of claims made about AI systems along with ten mechanisms for this purpose.

On a lighter note, if you are feeling burnt out from all the video conferencing, you are not alone. Meet the man who created hilarious AI version of himself to take his spot during Zoom calls.

Opportunities & Resources

Alan Turing Institute is looking for 2 Ethics Fellows in the Public Policy Programme. Here’s your chance to help advance the ethics of data science/AI for public policy & service delivery. More deets here.

Looking for resources to help you with responsible AI? Microsoft has you covered. Check out their comprehensive Responsible AI resources hub and compilation of research by Microsoft researchers.

Many thanks to these awesome folks for sharing great content this week!

Meredith Broussard @merbroussard Dagmar Monett @dmonett Brandie Nonnecke @BNonnecke Dorothea Baur @DorotheaBaur Ilana Golbin @GolbinIlana Roman Lutz @romanlutz13 KayFirth-Butterfield Theo – 劉䂀曼@psb_dc  jazzmin @jazzmingota