Inspired Minds World Summit AI 2020 returned yesterday with Episode V: Applied AI. Once again Brainpool was able to attend some of the stand out sessions of the series, highlighting how Artificial Intelligence can revolutionise business.
This episode included some great practical examples of how AI is being implemented. The City of Amsterdam’s AI Lead, Maarten Sukel, illustrated how their Object Detection Kit would support urban clean ups in a fair and accessible manner. We also got hands on experience playing against the DeepStack Poker AI, which follows the legacy of deep learning goal driven systems that have beaten world champion Go and Chess players.
Two sessions stood out to us most of all as exemplifying how Artificial Intelligence can transform businesses. MD4SG’s Ana-Andreea Stoica, highlighted a range of use cases for AI to be used for social good, whilst the University of California, Berkeley’s Celeste Kidd presented a fantastic talk highlighting ethical responsibilities surrounding the control of data.
AI for Social Good:
Ana-Andreea Stocia (Co-organiser for MD4SG) delivered an eye-opening session on ‘Tech for social good: from research to practice’ which honed in on the importance of using emerging technologies for greater purposes outside of pure commercial profitability.
Stocia acknowledged the fact that there exist tools that can prove harmful - such as facial recognition tools that contribute to systemic discrimination due to biases in data. She went on to contrast the effect of such tools with those that do good. For example, computational methods are able to aid environmental initiatives that aim to tackle the climate crisis. Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG) has its very own Environment and Climate Group to solely study how these methods can prevent harmful practices by, for example, identifying the whereabouts of poachers and enabling swift preventative measures.
The organization’s Data Economics Group, on the other hand, have focused their efforts on social good in the area of safe data sharing. The group developed a prototype of a data platform that will allow scholars, practitioners and alike to safely share data with one another for research purposes. Stocia highlighted the fact that data is used as a new currency and often adversely affects vulnerable populations - as such, there is a vital responsibility to ensure that populations are not only represented but protected in their ability to access and share data too.
How to Know:
Celeste Kidd led an insightful session on how tech companies must start to accept a greater level of ethical responsibility over the information they promote.
Kidd explained that journalists have traditionally held great power over what information receives mass publication. This tended to result in an editorial ethical responsibility to spread the truth and keep the public informed on real world events. Social media platforms, however, have now largely assumed the role of editors and do not appear to take on this same responsibility to distribute the objective truth to the public.
The business goals of dissemination of information are different for social media companies - the objective being to increase onsite engagement rather than promote objective truth.
Kidd outlined how the promotion of information in this way spreads mistruths, explaining how humans develop beliefs very quickly based on the information made immediately accessible to them. This is due to people taking news as objective truth, given traditional expectations of editorial responsibility.
She asserted that the existence of engaging yet factually incorrect content on those platforms has potentially led to a rise in pseudoscientific beliefs. She explained that in taking the place of traditional forms of news, these tech companies now have a responsibility over the validity of the information presented on their platforms.
Finally, Kidd suggested that technology will always interface with human psychology and tech companies must start to take greater responsibility for this. As a result, when we assess whether future technologies are ethical, we must understand how they interact with human psychology.
The potential held by AI to create change is clearly astronomical and questions surrounding how to deploy the technology are at the forefront of the current conversation. At Brainpool AI we prioritise projects which positively impact people and the planet. We have experience using technology to enlighten consumers on their individual carbon footprint and developing concepts and platforms that enable for improved natural resource management to accommodate the needs of the present and future generations. Our hope is that businesses considering implementing AI will embrace its potential for social good.
Next time, we’re really looking forward to Episode 6 - ‘Leveraging AI across your organisation’. In particular, we’ve got our eye on ‘A unique collaboration between man and machine: The Artificial Assistant’ by Marco de Jong (CEO, Experience Data) and ‘Keeping control of AI: Who should be in charge?’ by Hubert Etienne, Aik van Eemeren, John Havens, Deemah AlYahya and Layla El Asri.
Written by Anjali Kapila, Dominic Richmond and Joe Duszynski Lewis