Home Learn People shouldn’t pay such a high price for calling out AI harms

People shouldn’t pay such a high price for calling out AI harms

People shouldn’t pay such a high price for calling out AI harms

This week everyone seems to be talking about AI. The White House just unveiled a brand new executive order that goals to advertise secure, secure, and trustworthy AI systems. It’s essentially the most far-reaching little bit of AI regulation the US has produced yet, and my colleague Tate Ryan-Mosley and I even have highlighted three things it’s essential to learn about it. Read them here. 

The G7 has just agreed a (voluntary) code of conduct that AI firms should abide by, as governments seek to attenuate the harms and risks created by AI systems. And later this week, the UK might be stuffed with AI movers and shakers attending the federal government’s AI Safety Summit, an effort to provide you with global rules on AI safety. 

In all, these events suggest that the narrative pushed by Silicon Valley concerning the “existential risk” posed by AI appears to be increasingly dominant in public discourse.

That is concerning, because specializing in fixing hypothetical harms that will emerge in the long run takes attention from the very real harms AI is causing today. “Existing AI systems that cause demonstrated harms are more dangerous than hypothetical ‘sentient’ AI systems because they’re real,” writes Joy Buolamwini, a renowned AI researcher and activist, in her recent memoir Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines. Read more of her thoughts in an excerpt from her book, out tomorrow. 

I had the pleasure of talking with Buolamwini about her life story and what concerns her in AI today. Buolamwini is an influential voice in the sphere. Her research on bias in facial recognition systems made firms similar to IBM, Google, and Microsoft change their systems and back away from selling their technology to law enforcement. 

Now, Buolamwini has a brand new goal in sight. She is looking for a radical rethink of how AI systems are built, starting with more ethical, consensual data collection practices. “What concerns me is we’re giving so many firms a free pass, or we’re applauding the innovation while turning our head [away from the harms],” Buolamwini told me. Read my interview together with her. 

While Buolamwini’s story is in some ways an inspirational tale, additionally it is a warning. Buolamwini has been calling out AI harms for the higher a part of a decade, and he or she has done some impressive things to bring the subject to the general public consciousness. What really struck me was the toll speaking up has taken on her. Within the book, she describes having to ascertain herself into the emergency room for severe exhaustion after attempting to do too many things without delay—pursuing advocacy, founding her nonprofit organization the Algorithmic Justice League, attending congressional hearings, and writing her PhD dissertation at MIT. 

She will not be alone. Buolamwini’s experience tracks with a bit I wrote almost exactly a yr ago about how responsible AI has a burnout problem.  

Partly because of researchers like Buolamwini, tech firms face more public scrutiny over their AI systems. Firms realized they needed responsible AI teams to be sure that their products are developed in a way that mitigates any potential harm. These teams evaluate how our lives, societies, and political systems are affected by the best way these systems are designed, developed, and deployed. 

But individuals who indicate problems brought on by AI systems often face aggressive criticism online, in addition to pushback from their employers. Buolamwini described having to fend off public attacks on her research from one of the powerful technology firms on this planet: Amazon. 

When Buolamwini was first starting out, she needed to persuade those who AI was price worrying about. Now, individuals are more aware that AI systems might be biased and harmful. That’s the excellent news. 

The bad news is that speaking up against powerful technology firms still carries risks. That may be a shame. The voices attempting to shift the Overton window on what sorts of risks are being discussed and controlled are growing louder than ever and have captured the eye of lawmakers, similar to the UK’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak. If the culture around AI actively silences other voices, that comes at a price to us all. 

Deeper Learning

Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist, on his hopes and fears for the long run of AI

As an alternative of constructing the most popular recent AI models, Sutskever tells Will Douglas Heaven in an exclusive interview, his recent priority is to determine learn how to stop a man-made superintelligence (a hypothetical future technology he sees coming with the knowledge of a real believer) from going rogue.

It gets wilder: Sutskever says he thinks ChatGPT just is likely to be conscious (in the event you squint). He thinks the world must wake as much as the true power of the technology his company and others are racing to create. And he thinks some humans will in the future decide to merge with machines. Read the complete interview here. 

Bits and Bytes

Where does AI data come from? 
AI systems are notoriously not transparent. In an try and tackle this problem, MIT, Cohere for AI, and 11 other institutions have audited and traced nearly 2,000 of essentially the most widely used fine-tuning data sets, which form the backbone of many published breakthroughs in natural-language processing. The tip product is nerdy but cool. (The Data Provenance Initiative) 

AI will come for ladies first
Researchers from McKinsey argue that the roles most prone to being replaced by generative AI might be in customer support and sales—each professions that employ numerous women. (Foreign Policy) 

What the UN’s AI advisory group is as much as
The United Nations has been desirous to step up and take a more lively role in overseeing AI globally. To that end, it has amassed  a team of AI experts from each industry and academia tasked with coming up with recommendations that may shape what a possible UN agency for AI governance will appear to be. It is a nice explainer. (Time)

AI is slowly reenergizing San Francisco
High housing costs, crime rates, and poverty have plagued the people of San Francisco for years. But now a brand new crop of buzzy AI startups are beginning to draw money, people, and “vibes” back into the town. (The Washington Post $)

Margaret Atwood will not be impressed with AI literature
The creator, who published a searing review of a story written by a big language model, makes a robust case for why published authors don’t have to worry about AI. (The Walrus) 


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