VIDEO: “AI in Human Context: Understanding AI’s Role in Today’s Society – and Tomorrow’s”

Part of IFE's newly launched Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Program

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On Monday, March 29, the Institute for Education kicked off its newest program series, The Future of Artificial Intelligence Roundtable, founded by IFE Steward, MIT researcher, and former White House technology advisor Dr. R. David Edelman. Following introductions by Coach Kathy Kemper, the nearly 100 in attendance took part in a poignant tribute in memorial of IFE Founder, the beloved Jim Valentine. 


H.E. Stavros Lambrinidis, IFE Diplomatic Steward of Artificial Intelligence and Ambassador of the European Union to the United States provided opening remarks in which he challenged us to think critically about these technologies, ask hard questions about what roles we are inviting them to play in our societies and to forge new collaboration between principled partners in this endeavor.  Dr. Edelman then framed the Roundtable as an opportunity to dive deeper into both the questions of high-level principle and practical public policy raised by the concrete realities of AI in our everyday lives — now and in the future — which will, he said, challenge policymakers in nearly every field.  


He then led a far-reaching and stimulating discussion with panelists Julie Shah, Associate Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Associate Dean of Social and Ethical Responsibilities of Computing at MIT, and Peter Fatelnig, Minister-Counsellor for Digital Economy Policy at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States.  They discussed topics with serious implications for our societies as we begin to encounter AI in our everyday lives — both in areas we might recognize, such as AI-enabled robotics in manufacturing or autonomous vehicles, but also in subtler and less visible fields, such as consumer finance or medicine.  Participants received an insider’s look at the opportunities but also the inherent risk and uncertainty created by these new technologies — many of which, the speakers noted, are not unique to AI — and how policymakers, communities, and individuals might better prepare for the rapidly expanding use of machine-learning powered AI systems.  The group focused in particular on the social and ethical responsibilities necessary to ensure that economic and political outcomes these technologies influence advance, rather than walk back, advances in equity and justice.


Edelman then moderated a robust and lively Q&A session, during which Shah and Fatelnig addressed questions about topics including the future of integrating AI into society, progress of AI learning, how to look inside the box of AI decision making, and digital rights and protection.

Contributed by Abby Tcheng, IFE Intern

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