Embedding ethics in AI:
principles, practice, technical solutions, and challenges
Francesca Rossi | IBM fellow and AI Ethics Global Leader
AI is going to bring huge benefits in terms of scientific progress, human wellbeing, economic value, and the possibility of finding solutions to major social and environmental problems. Supported by AI, we will be able to make more grounded decisions and to focus on the main values and goals of a decision process rather than on routine and repetitive tasks. However, such a powerful technology also raises some concerns, related for example to the black-box nature of some AI approaches, the possible discriminatory decisions that AI algorithms may recommend, and the accountability and responsibility when an AI system is involved in an undesirable outcome. Also, since many successful AI techniques rely on huge amounts of data, it is important to know how data are handled by AI systems and by those who produce them. These concerns are among the obstacles that hold AI back or that cause worry for current AI users, adopters, and policy makers. Without answers to these questions, many will not trust AI, and therefore will not fully adopt it nor get its positive impact.
In this talk I will present the main issues around AI ethics, describe some technical solutions in the recommender system area, mention some outstanding challenges, and propose a possible way to address them.
Francesca Rossi is an IBM fellow and the IBM AI Ethics Global Leader.
She is based at the T.J. Watson IBM Research Lab, New York, USA.
She has been a professor of computer science at the University of Padova for 20 years before joining IBM.
Her research interests focus on artificial intelligence, specifically they include constraint reasoning, preferences, multi-agent systems, computational social choice, and collective decision making. She is also interested in ethical issues in the development and behavior of AI systems, in particular for decision support systems for group decision making. On these topics, she has published over 200 scientific articles in journals and conference proceedings, and as book chapters.
She is a fellow of both the worldwide association of AI (AAAI) and of the European one (EurAI).
She has been president of IJCAI (International Joint Conference on AI), an executive councillor of AAAI, and the Editor in Chief of the Journal of AI Research. She is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Future of Life Institute (Cambridge, USA) and a deputy director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (Cambridge, UK). She is in the executive committee of the IEEE global initiative on ethical considerations on the development of autonomous and intelligent systems and she is a member of the board of directors of the Partnership on AI, where she represents IBM as one of the founding partners.
She has been a member of the European Commission High Level Expert Group on AI and the general chair of the AAAI 2020 conference. She co-leads the internal IBM AI Ethics board.
She will be the AAAI president in 2022-2024.