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The Societal Limits of AI Ethics

Monday, April 19, 11:30am - 1:00pm ET

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In recent years, the global discussion on "AI ethics" has succeeded in mainstreaming key principles to limit the risks that would otherwise arise from the unrestricted and unconsidered use of artificial intelligence, particularly with regards to privacy, safety, and equality. But it may have overlooked a much more fundamental and uncomfortable question: what are the limits of "AI ethics"? 

In our first event of this series last December, The Technical Limits of AI Ethics, we shed light on the core technical challenges to the real-world application of ethical AI principles. This second event in our series will consider a range of open questions about the social, political, economic, and organizational realities that could similarly obstruct our efforts to make AI safer, fairer, and more transparent.

Are the principles of AI ethics fundamentally compatible with the cultures and motivations of organizations that develop and employ AI? Do AI ethics principles reflect universal values that are shared by all stakeholders, or do they tend to fall on one side of increasingly intractable political fissures? And can AI itself ever be fair and transparent if, as many have pointed out, the communities and infrastructures that undergird the technology continue to be profoundly unequal, unfair, and unaccountable? By addressing these realities, this webinar will point to a more grounded and constructive path forward for AI ethics. 

Meredith Broussard is an an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and research director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology.

Karen Hao is the senior AI editor at MIT Technology Review

Safiya Noble is an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Departments of Information Studies and African American Studies.

Arthur Holland Michel is a senior fellow at Carnegie Council and an associate researcher in the Security and Technology Programme at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.