AI is a global issue that requires our attention at every stage of emergence. Decisions about AI being made now change how the future unfolds. AI now informs a great range of technologies including brain-computer interaction, robots, ingestible technology, wearables, implantables, ambient intelligence, biotech, and immersive technologies (e.g, AR, VR). This cluster deals with AI not only as a technological phenomenon, but one that impacts lives around the world. It stresses ethical decision-making, the social implications of AI and communication strategies for educating the public about AI. It considers how students, citizens, consumers, and workers can conceptualize ethically-aligned design for AI and autonomous systems.
How might technological advancement alter our lives for the next fifty years? What kinds of advancement in AI require ethical assessment in order to avoid unintended outcomes like algorithmic bias, discrimination or disinformation and move toward human betterment? Another key area is global, national, and local policy-making and regulation. How will policy be written for stakeholders in light of human rights, laws, standards, UN governance models, corporate policy, etc ? What needs to be regulated? Public stakeholders also need to be consulted. How do people around the world learn about and react to the impact of AI? (e.g., journalism, broadcast media, education and training, social media, fiction, film, events, advertising, etc) Research concentrates on legal issues, ownership, consumer protection, advocacy, algorithmic bias, and care for vulnerable populations. Designed for forecasting technology emergence, Fabric provides a rich database to monitor both the hype and science around AI so that we can identify issues, such as digital divide, algorithmic bias, or citizen advocacy.
Isabel Pedersen, Professor of Communication Studies, member of the Graduate School in Computer Science at Ontario Tech University, Decimal lab. Founder and Editor for Fabric of Digital Life.