Ethical AI


In this episode of High Theory, Alex Hanna talks with Nathan Kim about Ethical AI. Their conversation is part of our High Theory in STEM series, which tackles topics in science, technology, engineering, and medicine from a highly theoretical perspective. In this episode, Alex helps us think about the complicated recipes we call “artificial intelligence” and what we mean when we ask our technologies to be ethical.

In the episode Alex references an article by Emily Tucker, called “Artifice and Intelligence,” (Tech Policy Press, 17 March 2022) which suggests we should stop using terms like “artificial intelligence” and an opinion piece in the Washington Post, on a similar theme, by Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell, “We warned Google that people might believe AI was sentient. Now it’s happening” (17 June 2022). She also mentions a claim by Blake Lemoine that Google’s LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) is sentient. We’ll leave that one to your googling, if not your judgment.

Dr. Alex Hanna is Director of Research at the Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR). A sociologist by training, her work centers on the data used in new computational technologies, and the ways in which these data exacerbate racial, gender, and class inequality. You can read her recent article, “AI Ethics Are in Danger. Funding Independent Research Could Help,” co-authored with Dylan Baker in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and learn more about her work on her website.

This week’s image was produced by DALL-E 2 responding to the prompt: "generate the image of an artificial intelligence entity, deciding to protect shareholder interests over public good, in the style of Van Gogh."

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Saronik Bosu

Saronik Bosu (@SaronikB on Twitter) is a doctoral candidate in English at New York University. He is writing his dissertation on literary rhetoric and economic thought. He co-hosts the podcast High Theory and is a co-founder of the Postcolonial Anthropocene Research Network.

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