Accountability in the Age of AI (2020)
ATMAC*- the Advanced Technology Makeshift Advisory Council, is an ethics committee dedicated to debating algorithmic systems and AI applications, wherever and whenever it is needed. Everyone is invited to participate.
*This project is satirically named after Google's failed ethics council ATEAC - the Advanced Technology Advisory Council, an ethic's committee dedicated to responsible development of AI; established and cancelled in 2019. The council was compromised of philosophers, technologists, economists and public policy advisors. Soon after Google's announcement of electing Kay Cole James as one of their council members, 2 300 Google employees, as well as prominent academics and advocates from outside the company, signed a petition criticising the company's council selection - James has personally argued against trans rights and LGBTQ protections; she is also president of the Heritage foundation, a right wing think tank sceptical about climate change.
The first every ATMAC meeting was held at the CtrlZ.AI zinefair in Barcelona, on January the 30th, 2020. CtrlZ.AI ran parallel to the ACM FAT* conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency. For the ATMAC meeting at CtlrZ.AI, the following motion formed the subject of debate: "AI companies should be held accountable for developing AI applications beneficial for the exploration and extraction of fossil fuels." This is also one of the demands of climate justice groups formed by workers from Microsoft, Google and Amazon - AI companies who have made recent news for partnering with the fossil fuel industry; a rather controversial move in times of heightened climate awareness. To aid the debating process, attendants of the ATMAC meeting at CtrlZ.AI were provided information cards relevant to their standpoint; these were made up of statistics, statements and arguments - all taken from articles and reports such as published by the AI Now Institute.
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