Paper: Making BREAD: Biomimetic strategies for Artificial Intelligence Now and in the Future

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution foretold of during the 1960s is well underway in the second decade of the 21st century. Its period of phenomenal growth likely lies ahead. Still, we believe, there are crucial lessons that biology can offer that will enable a prosperous future for AI. For machines in general, and for AI’s especially, operating over extended periods or in extreme environments will require energy usage orders of magnitudes more efficient than exists today. In many operational environments, energy sources will be constrained. Any plans for AI devices operating in a challenging environment must begin with the question of how they are powered, where fuel is located, how energy is stored and made available to the machine, and how long the machine can operate on specific energy units. Hence, the materials and technologies that provide the needed energy represent a critical challenge towards future use-scenarios of AI and should be integrated into their design. Here we make four recommendations for stakeholders and especially decision makers to facilitate a successful trajectory for this technology. First, that scientific societies and governments coordinate Biomimetic Research for Energy-efficient, AI Designs (BREAD); a multinational initiative and a funding strategy for investments in the future integrated design of energetics into AI. Second, that biomimetic energetic solutions be central to design consideration for future AI. Third, that a pre-competitive space be organized between stakeholder partners and fourth, that a trainee pipeline be established to ensure the human capital required for success in this area.

Paper: Can Artificial Intelligence Do Everything That We Can?

In this article, I discuss what AI can and cannot yet do, and the implications for humanity.

Paper: Truly Autonomous Machines Are Ethical

While many see the prospect of autonomous machines as threatening, autonomy may be exactly what we want in a superintelligent machine. There is a sense of autonomy, deeply rooted in the ethical literature, in which an autonomous machine is necessarily an ethical one. Development of the theory underlying this idea not only reveals the advantages of autonomy, but it sheds light on a number of issues in the ethics of artificial intelligence. It helps us to understand what sort of obligations we owe to machines, and what obligations they owe to us. It clears up the issue of assigning responsibility to machines or their creators. More generally, a concept of autonomy that is adequate to both human and artificial intelligence can lead to a more adequate ethical theory for both.

Paper: From Fair Decision Making to Social Equality

The study of fairness in intelligent decision systems has mostly ignored long-term influence on the underlying population. Yet fairness considerations (e.g. affirmative action) have often the implicit goal of achieving balance among groups within the population. The most basic notion of balance is eventual equality between the qualifications of the groups. How can we incorporate influence dynamics in decision making? How well do dynamics-oblivious fairness policies fare in terms of reaching equality? In this paper, we propose a simple yet revealing model that encompasses (1) a selection process where an institution chooses from multiple groups according to their qualifications so as to maximize an institutional utility and (2) dynamics that govern the evolution of the groups’ qualifications according to the imposed policies. We focus on demographic parity as the formalism of affirmative action. We then give conditions under which an unconstrained policy reaches equality on its own. In this case, surprisingly, imposing demographic parity may break equality. When it doesn’t, one would expect the additional constraint to reduce utility, however, we show that utility may in fact increase. In more realistic scenarios, unconstrained policies do not lead to equality. In such cases, we show that although imposing demographic parity may remedy it, there is a danger that groups settle at a worse set of qualifications. As a silver lining, we also identify when the constraint not only leads to equality, but also improves all groups. This gives quantifiable insight into both sides of the mismatch hypothesis. These cases and trade-offs are instrumental in determining when and how imposing demographic parity can be beneficial in selection processes, both for the institution and for society on the long run.

Paper: Building Ethics into Artificial Intelligence

As artificial intelligence (AI) systems become increasingly ubiquitous, the topic of AI governance for ethical decision-making by AI has captured public imagination. Within the AI research community, this topic remains less familiar to many researchers. In this paper, we complement existing surveys, which largely focused on the psychological, social and legal discussions of the topic, with an analysis of recent advances in technical solutions for AI governance. By reviewing publications in leading AI conferences including AAAI, AAMAS, ECAI and IJCAI, we propose a taxonomy which divides the field into four areas: 1) exploring ethical dilemmas; 2) individual ethical decision frameworks; 3) collective ethical decision frameworks; and 4) ethics in human-AI interactions. We highlight the intuitions and key techniques used in each approach, and discuss promising future research directions towards successful integration of ethical AI systems into human societies.

Paper: Building Ethically Bounded AI

The more AI agents are deployed in scenarios with possibly unexpected situations, the more they need to be flexible, adaptive, and creative in achieving the goal we have given them. Thus, a certain level of freedom to choose the best path to the goal is inherent in making AI robust and flexible enough. At the same time, however, the pervasive deployment of AI in our life, whether AI is autonomous or collaborating with humans, raises several ethical challenges. AI agents should be aware and follow appropriate ethical principles and should thus exhibit properties such as fairness or other virtues. These ethical principles should define the boundaries of AI’s freedom and creativity. However, it is still a challenge to understand how to specify and reason with ethical boundaries in AI agents and how to combine them appropriately with subjective preferences and goal specifications. Some initial attempts employ either a data-driven example-based approach for both, or a symbolic rule-based approach for both. We envision a modular approach where any AI technique can be used for any of these essential ingredients in decision making or decision support systems, paired with a contextual approach to define their combination and relative weight. In a world where neither humans nor AI systems work in isolation, but are tightly interconnected, e.g., the Internet of Things, we also envision a compositional approach to building ethically bounded AI, where the ethical properties of each component can be fruitfully exploited to derive those of the overall system. In this paper we define and motivate the notion of ethically-bounded AI, we describe two concrete examples, and we outline some outstanding challenges.

Article: Build Reliability into Autonomous and Intelligent Systems

When building and using autonomous and intelligent systems, it’s important to know they’re behaving reliably, because if things go wrong, they can do so at scale, fast.

Article: What can Philosophy teach Machine Learning?

From Socrates to Cognitive Science

Article: 6 Emotionally Rewarding Data Science Projects

The field of data science is best-suited for those who love mathematics and working with numbers. While some projects are tedious and monotonous, particularly on the entry level, there are plenty of exciting and rewarding jobs in the sector for qualified, experienced professionals. The dawn of big data and next-gen data analytics makes the field even more innovative and exciting by giving individuals access to more data than ever before. Since we are currently living in the Information Age, it only makes sense to use this data in fun, creative and rewarding ways.

Article: The Hidden Dangers in Algorithmic Decision Making

The quiet revolution of artificial intelligence looks nothing like the way movies predicted; AI seeps into our lives not by overtaking our lives as sentient robots, but instead, steadily creeping into areas of decision-making that were previously exclusive to humans. Because it is so hard to spot, you might not have even noticed how much of your life is influenced by algorithms. Picture this?-?this morning, you woke up, reached for your phone, and checked Facebook or Instagram, in which you consumed media from a content feed created by an algorithm. Then you checked your email; only the messages that matter, of course. Everything negligible was automatically dumped into your spam or promotions folder. You may have listened to a new playlist on Spotify that was suggested to you based on the music that you’d previously shown interest in. You then proceeded with your morning routine before getting in your car and using Google Maps to see how long your commute would take today. In the span of half an hour, the content you consumed, the music you listened to, and your ride to work relied on brain power other than your own?-?it relied on predictive modelling from algorithms. Machine learning is here. Artificial intelligence is here. We are right in the midst of the information revolution and while it’s an incredible time and place to be in, one must be wary of the implications that come along with it. Having a machine tell you how long your commute will be, what music you should listen to, and what content you would likely engage with are all relatively harmless examples. But while you’re scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, an algorithm somewhere is determining someone’s medical diagnoses, their parole eligibility, or their career prospects. At face value, machine learning algorithms look like a promising solution for mitigating the wicked problem that is human bias, and all the ways it can negatively impact the lives of millions of people. The idea is that the algorithms in AI are capable of being more fair and efficient than humans ever could be. Companies, governments, organizations, and individuals worldwide are handing off decision-making for many reasons?-?it’s more reliable, it becomes easier, it is less costly, and it’s time-efficient. However, there are still some concerns to be aware of.

Article: Who Do We Blame When an AI Finally Kills Somebody

We’re rapidly approaching the point where AI will be so pervasive that it’s inevitable that someone will be injured or killed. If you thought this was covered by simple product defect warranties it’s not at all that clear. Here’s what we need to start thinking about.