AI Ethics Weekly – Mar 30: Coronavirus – 1, Privacy – 0

AI Ethics Weekly – Mar 30: Coronavirus – 1, Privacy – 0
March 29, 2020 LH3_Admin

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GIF Credit: Coding Rights @CodingRights

Starting this week we’ll include regional perspectives on AI Ethics & Coronavirus from Women in AI Ethics™ leaders around the globe. Many thanks to Volha Litvinets and Amy Chou for their contributions this week.

The tech execs who don’t agree with ‘soul-stealing’ coronavirus safety measures
h/t Mia Dand @MiaD
“One Silicon Valley leader who is attempting to push companies in the other direction is David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails and co-founder of Basecamp. Hansson has been using his Twitter account to “name ’n’ shame” tech employers who are not allowing employees to work remotely.” Read more.

Coronavirus is forcing a trade-off between privacy and public health
h/t Theo – @psb_dc
“The crisis has governments and companies scrambling to decide when it’s appropriate to lift data privacy protections and AI ethics guidelines.” Read more.

Will Privacy Survive COVID-19?
h/t Roxana Nasoi (The Hat) @roxanasoi
“When the world recovers from the novel coronavirus it will have changed dramatically. After the crisis subsides, supercharged surveillance deployed by governments may become the new normal.” Read more.

Yuval Noah Harari: The World After Coronavirus
h/t Karen Silverman @KESilverman
“In this time of crisis, we face two particularly important choices. The first is between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment. The second is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity.” Read more.

COVID-19: Advancing Rights and Justice During a Pandemic
h/t Branka Panic @Branka2Panic
“Some governments are exploiting the crisis to crackdown on civil liberties. This series brings together scholars and practitioners to discuss the threats we face, and how we might respond.” Read more.

These maps use phone data to track social distancing
h/t Lighthouse3 @lh3com
“There’s no evidence that the U.S. government is using phones to enforce stay-at-home orders or track patients. But privacy is often the first civil right on the chopping block when public health and national security are at risk.” Read more.

AI Versus the Coronavirus
h/t Allan E. Alter @allanealter
“In recent decades, many rich Americans have sought to reinvent themselves as patrons of social progress through science research, in some cases outdoing what the federal government can achieve because its goals are often unadventurous and its budgets unpredictable.” Read more.

Tech’s Next Disruption Target: The Coronavirus
h/t Lighthouse3 @lh3com
“Silicon Valley’s technology whizzes are mobilized to fight the coronavirus, trying to hack everything from disease modeling to elder care and medical-device manufacturing.” Read more.

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Women in AI Ethics – Regional Perspective

Volha Litvinets – Russia
Current Covid-19 situation in Russia: Officially there is no quarantine in the Russian Federation. People older than 65 years advised to stay home and minimize social interactions. Companies have gone online and launched a remote work for employees. All the events were postponed or canceled, but restaurants and cafes are still working. However, the borders are closed for all foreign citizens. All Russian citizens and holders of a permanent residence permit can return with the condition of 2 weeks of self-isolation. More regional updates news at:

Amy Chou – USA (California)
There are many ways that AI can be deployed to support people’s efforts in combating COVID-19 from predicting rates and patterns of infection to helping discover new treatment options. The speed at which the disease is disrupting and taking lives can make it feel all the more urgent to deploy solutions. However, AI ethics experts including Kay Firth-Butterfield, the Head of AI at the World Economic Forum, urge us to be cognizant of the broader privacy implications of deploying AI technologies like facial recognition for surveillance. As Firth-Butterfield recently stated, “With most tech workers gone from Silicon Valley campuses, we need to keep in mind that the big ethical challenges around privacy, accountability, bias, and transparency of artificial intelligence remain. We have been on the cusp of a tech-lash for many months, and it could get worse if at the other side of the COVID-19 crisis systems have been developed and deployed that are ethically challenged.” Read more at  Don’t like dystopian surveillance? Flatten the coronavirus curve


This is the teaching moment for artificial intelligence
h/t Allan E. Alter @allanealter
“The head of AI for the World Economic Forum believes that the teaching of it should evolve to reflect the way in which it is being implemented in the real world.” Read more.

Catherine D’Ignazio: ‘Data is never a raw, truthful input – and it is never neutral’?
h/t Theo – @psb_dc
“The co-author of Data Feminism on the importance of recognising discrimination in algorithms, understanding it at a technical level – and introducing measures to stamp it out.” Read more.

EUs Digital, AI and Data Strategy lacks ambition on ethics and Trustworthy AI
h/t Maria Luciana Axente (@maria_axente)
“On 19th February 2020 the European Commission published a comprehensive strategy on the digital, AI and data future of Europe. The strategy followed after a two-year period of scrutiny into the role of Europe in the global AI space with among others the creation of a set of European ethical guidelines for Trustworthy AI to inspire the policy process.” Read more.

AI is An Ideology, Not A Technology
h/t David J. Gunkel @David_Gunkel
“To paraphrase Edmund Burke, all that is necessary for the triumph of an AI-driven, automation-based dystopia is that liberal democracy accept it as inevitable.” Read more.

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