Free, online course brings together 20 global experts in the field of ethical AI

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Credit: The GovLab

BROOKLYN, New York, Wednesday, February 3, 2021 – The Governance Lab (The GovLab), NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Global AI Ethics Consortium (GAIEC), Center for Responsible AI @ NYU (R/AI), and Technical University of Munich (TUM) Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (IEAI) jointly launched a free, online course, AI Ethics: Global Perspectives, on February 1, 2021. Designed for a global audience, it conveys the breadth and depth of the ongoing interdisciplinary conversation on AI ethics and seeks to bring together diverse perspectives from the field of ethical AI, to raise awareness and help institutions work towards more responsible use.

“The use of data and AI is steadily growing around the world – there should be simultaneous efforts to increase literacy, awareness, and education around the ethical implications of these technologies,” said Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of The GovLab. “The course will allow experts to jointly develop a global understanding of AI.”

“AI is a global challenge, and so is AI ethics,” said Christoph Lütge, the director of IEAI. “Τhe ethical challenges related to the various uses of AI require multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder engagement, as well as collaboration across cultures, organizations, academic institutions, etc. This online course is GAIEC’s attempt to approach and apply AI ethics effectively in practice.”

The course modules comprise pre-recorded lectures on either AI Applications, Data and AI, and Governance Frameworks, along with supplemental readings. New course lectures will be released the first week of every month.

“The goal of this course is to create a nuanced understanding of the role of technology in society so that we, the people, have tools to make AI work for the benefit of society,” said Julia Stoyanovich, a Tandon Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Director of the Center for Responsible AI at NYU Tandon, and an Assistant Professor at the NYU Center for Data Science. “It is up to us – current and future data scientists, business leaders, policy makers, and members of the public – to make AI what we want it to be.”

The collaboration will release four new modules in February. These include lectures from:

  • Idoia Salazar, President and Co-Founder of OdiselA, who presents “Alexa vs Alice: Cultural Perspectives on the Impact of AI.” Salazar explores why it is important to take into account the cultural, geographical, and temporal aspects of AI, as well as their precise identification, in order to achieve the correct development and implementation of AI systems;
  • Jerry John Kponyo, Associate Professor of Telecommunication Engineering at KNUST, who sheds light on the fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence in Transportation System (AITS) and safety, and looks at the technologies at play in its implementation;
  • Danya Glabau, Director of Science and Technology studies at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, asks and answers the question, “Who is artificial intelligence for?” and presents evidence that AI systems do not always help their intended users and constituencies;
  • Mark Findlay, Director of the Centre for AI and Data Governance at SMU, reviews the ethical challenges — discrimination, lack of transparency, neglect of individual rights, and more — which have arisen from COVID-19 technologies and their resultant mass data accumulation.

    To learn more and sign up to receive updates as new modules are added, visit the course website at https://aiethicscourse.org/.

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    About The Governance Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

    The Governance Lab’s mission is to improve people’s lives by changing the way we govern. Our goal at The GovLab is to strengthen the ability of institutions — including but not limited to governments — and people to work more openly, collaboratively, effectively, and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems. We believe that increased availability and use of data, new ways to leverage the capacity, intelligence, and expertise of people in the problem-solving process, combined with new advances in technology and science, can transform governance. We approach each challenge and opportunity in an interdisciplinary, collaborative way, irrespective of the problem, sector, geography, and level of government. For more information, visit thegovlab.org.

    About TUM Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence

    TUM has long been a driving force in researching the mutual interactions of science, technology and society. Founded in 2019, the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (IEAI) follows TUM’s strategy for “Human-Centered Engineering” and the university’s bold creation of the Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS) in 2012, whose mission is to better understand and reflexively shape the multiple interactions between science, technology and society.

    The IEAI conducts inter-, multi-, and transdisciplinary research that promotes active collaboration between the technical, engineering and social sciences, while also actively courting interaction with a wide group of international stakeholders from academia, industry and civil society. This exhaustive approach enables the IEAI to truly and comprehensively address a growing group of ethical challenges arising at the interface of technology and human values. It also aids in the development of thoroughly operational ethical frameworks in the field of AI. For more information, visit ieai.mcts.tum.de

    About The Global AI Ethics Consortium

    The Global AI Ethics Consortium (GAIEC) joins forces with academic institutions, research centers and distinguished members of academia worldwide in order to foster trust in data and technology, maximize the potential of AI while limiting its harms, help all the involved parties navigate current uncertainty, and create ethical frameworks.

    About the Center for Responsible AI at NYU (R/AI)

    The NYU Center for Responsible AI (R/AI) Established in Fall 2019 and directed by Julia Stoyanovich and Steven Kuyan, the Center is a comprehensive laboratory that is building a future in which responsible AI will be the only kind accepted by society. R/AI builds on the interdisciplinary research expertise that NYU has developed across the fields of AI, data science, engineering, social science, and law to create the world’s most comprehensive and sophisticated laboratory for understanding and accelerating responsible AI practices. R/AI operates a set of synergistic activities that include applied research, startup acceleration, and a range of education and public engagement efforts. The Applied Research Lab conducts cutting-edge interdisciplinary research to develop, implement, and disseminate best-in-class open source tools and frameworks for operationalizing responsibility at all stages of the AI lifecycle. The AI for Good startup incubator applies AI to societal problems that are otherwise overlooked in pursuit of broad capital market opportunities. The Talent and Education Program produces educational materials for data science practitioners, public sector decision makers, and members of the public.

    About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering

    The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences as part of a global university, with close connections to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. NYU Tandon is rooted in a vibrant tradition of entrepreneurship, intellectual curiosity, and innovative solutions to humanity’s most pressing global challenges. Research at Tandon focuses on vital intersections between communications/IT, cybersecurity, and data science/AI/robotics systems and tools and critical areas of society that they influence, including emerging media, health, sustainability, and urban living. We believe diversity is integral to excellence, and are creating a vibrant, inclusive, and equitable environment for all of our students, faculty and staff. For more information, visit engineering.nyu.edu.

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