Artificial Intelligence (AI) has created many new opportunities for making life better—faster, more efficient, and less expensive. But, simultaneously, utilizing data and robots to expedite things has raised the likelihood of lost human connections, missing deliberative phases, and oversimplification of life’s complexities. The Utah Informatics Initiative (UI2) and the Tanner Humanities Center present a virtual conference on role in society on September 21 and 22.
According to Mike Kirby, UI2 director, the University of Utah is uniquely positioned to host these debates. Researchers at the University of Utah are working with interdisciplinary colleagues in the humanities and arts to investigate informatics, data science, and machine learning. The conference’s keynote speaker, Moshe Vardi, will speak about “Ethics Washing in Artificial Intelligence” on the first day.
Several organizations have adopted internal ethical standards after multiple examples of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning going wrong, says Vardi of Rice University’s Initiative on Technology, Culture, and Society. For instance, face-recognition software disproportionately targets dark-skinned people, self-driving cars on autopilot crash. But, as Vardi pointed out, those lofty standards could be deceptive. Vardi will participate in a question-and-answer session led by Kirby with symposium attendees.
Six University of Utah researchers will share their work using or analyzing Artificial Intelligence on the event’s second day. In addition, Vardi, Tanner Humanities Center Director Erika George, and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dan Reed will participate in a panel discussion hosted by Professor Valerio Pascucci following the presentations. The Informatics Initiative, now in its third year, was founded by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dan Reed to build on the university’s current data science education, research, and workforce development strengths. The effort is supported by the Utah Legislature’s annual performance-based funding.