AI Ethics Weekly – Mar 23: AI in the Age of Coronavirus – The Good, the Creepy, and the Scary

AI Ethics Weekly – Mar 23: AI in the Age of Coronavirus – The Good, the Creepy, and the Scary
March 22, 2020 LH3_Admin

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Despite the hype, AI technology is off to an astonishingly slow deployment in the fight against Coronavirus but hope still springs eternal for this emerging technology. Here is our coverage of everything good, bad, and outright ugly from the world of AI this past week.

But first here’s some sage advice on Responsible AI in times of pandemic
h/t Maria Luciana Axente @maria_axente
“If your system cannot provide an explanation of its results, please think twice before considering using it to provide any analysis or forecast on the pandemics. At the same time, efforts to use AI to support identifying fake news and limit its spread are highly recommended.”

The Good…

Computational predictions of protein structures associated with COVID-19
“Deepmind wants to “contribute to the scientific effort using the latest version of our AlphaFold system by releasing structure predictions of several under-studied proteins associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”

UC San Diego Health launches new drone project to transport medical supplies
Lighthouse3 @lh3com
“UC San Diego medical drone testing is part of a larger, ongoing three-year program by the city of San Diego, which was selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct testing as part of the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP)”. Read more.

Coronavirus: China’s tech fights back
Whether you think the AI news coming from China is hype or real, this article makes it clear that from sanitization robots to delivery drones, there are many ways AI can be deployed for good and in the fight against this current pandemic.

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The Creepy…

What You Should Know About Online Tools During the COVID-19 Crisis
h/t Wolfgang @Ouren
“The host of a Zoom call has the capacity to monitor the activities of attendees while screen-sharing. If attendees of a meeting do not have the Zoom video window in focus during a call where the host is screen-sharing, after 30 seconds the host can see indicators next to each participant’s name indicating that the Zoom window is not active.”

Should AI help make life-or-death decisions in the coronavirus fight?
 h/t Theo @psb_dc
“Doctors in the crowded chaos of a hospital dealing with a pandemic have to make fast clinical decisions about the treatment of one patient over another. Should artificial intelligence be involved in medical life-and-death decisions?”

The coronavirus is forcing tech giants to make a risky bet on AI
h/t @hypervisible
“Machine learning tools have always been the ideal content moderators for Facebook, Google and Twitter — but COVID-19 is forcing their use before they’re ready.”

Drones scold Chinese residents without masks as coronavirus spread
h/t Lighthouse3 @lh3com
Chinese authorities are taking coronavirus surveillance to new heights — using drones to scold citizens who go outside without face masks.

And the Scary.

A surveillance company claims it has developed a ‘coronavirus detection system’
h/t jazzmin @jazzmingota
“Ignoring that there are any number of reasons someone might be running a fever outside of coronavirus, the system raises a lot of concerns.”

COVID-19 Could Provide Cover for Domestic Surveillance Expansion
h/t Carissa Véliz @carissaveliz
“While location data may prove fruitful in tracking and controlling a pandemic like COVID-19, history holds some warning flags, US privacy experts say. Governments are prone to overreach in an emergency.””

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