purplecat: Programming the Eniac Computer (General:Computing)
I spent most of Wednesday at a Northern Powerhouse Mini-conference on the relationship between artificial intelligence and inclusive growth. The morning was spent on a certain amount of "what is AI?" but with a good deal of discussion of the pitfalls of algorithmic bias and so on.

In the afternoon we had a presentation from Simon Reid, Sector Lead for Manufacturing for LCR 4.0 (Liverpool City Regions Industry 4.0 thing) which included ciivsoft as a case study for the good work LCR4.0 has been doing in the AI space. Ciivsoft is an automated recruiting tool which, among other things, builds "personality profiles" for you from people's applications and scours their social media presence for further information. No risk for algorithmic bias there then. One of our senior retired Computer Science professors immediately piped up once the talk had ended to ask why the ethics of this was so side-lined. The question was not answered. Indeed it was barely acknowledged. In fact the conversation moved on to how to encourage more young kids in the Liverpool region to be "the next Mark Zuckerberg"

While I agree with the sentiment here. There is a desperate need to stimulate aspiration in certain Liverpool City Region areas, but Zuckerberg seemed like a particularly tone deaf example to select when there had just been so much talk about the potential problems arising from the deployment of AI (and Big Data and social media) and how the region might seek to harness the potential of these technologies without entrenching its existing problems.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (lego robots)
Alan is one of the Principal Investigators on the Verifiable Autonomy project (which employs me for half my time). He has a long standing interest in the various aspects of ethics and robotics, both how a robot might be programmed to behave ethically and the ethical issues surrounding the use of robots in homes, workplaces and other places. He is also involved in a number of committees involving robotics. He blogs about his work at Alan Winfield's Web Log, both reporting on current research in an accessible fashion, and discussing various activities he has been involved with. It's not a high volume blog, but worth checking out if you are interested in these kinds of issues. He's also active on twitter ([twitter.com profile] alan_winfield) and, I get the impression, very much enjoys discussing his work, ethics and robotics with people.

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purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
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