What can we learn from science fiction for strategic foresight? How can we draw lessons from the 19th-century telegraph to understand artificial intelligence? How can a typewriter and diabolo be used to explore the values that matter in the application of AI in an artistic way? And what does mindfulness have to do with AI ethics and sustainable agricultural methods? These were just a few of the thought-provoking questions that were explored at this year’s Morals & Machines 2023 Conference.
The event brought together a diverse range of people from industry, academia, and politics in an inspiring atmosphere. Part of the focus of this year’s gathering was Generative AI and its implications. With the rapid and disruptive changes brought about by this technology, it is crucial to discuss and anticipate its social impact, opportunities, and potential risks, while also defining ethical standards. The ultimate goal is to imbibe machines with ethics, utilizing them in a way that benefits humanity and safeguards democracy and freedom. Bavarian Minister of State for Digital Affairs, Judith Gerlach, emphasized the importance of not only pursuing what is technologically possible but also what is socially desirable.
In the coming years, transparency, accountability, and privacy protection were identified as critical goals to be pursued via legislative regulation. By establishing guidelines and frameworks, the aim is to ensure that AI systems adhere to ethical standards. In this context, the values expressed by artist Martin Mall – audacity, diversity, and adaptivity – resonated strongly, emphasizing the importance of incorporating these values into AI development and deployment.
Among the risks discussed at the event, bias stood out prominently. Bias can enter such AI models depending on the training data or algorithms, and whether checks are in place when interpreting results. Additionally, concerns were raised about deep fakes and their implications. However, participants also recognized the vast opportunities presented by AI, such as gaining competitive advantages for companies and nations. To this end, the Bavarian Free State’s Hightech Agenda has been instrumental. The emergence of new job titles and roles, such as CAIO (Chief AI Officer) and Prompt Engineers, further showcases the transformative potential of AI.
Dr. Joy Buolamwini, the winner of the 2023 Morals & Machines Prize, presented an impactful proposal. She called for a global moratorium on the use of facial recognition technology and emphasized the need for incident reporting regarding AI harm. These proposals underscore the urgency of addressing ethical concerns and ensuring responsible AI practices on a global scale.
We were delighted to be part of this event where so many creative and brilliant minds came together to discuss such vital topics. We extend our gratitude to the ada team for organizing this exceptional gathering, which seamlessly integrated thought-provoking talks, delicious food, interactive sessions, evening events, and roundtable discussions. We look forward to attending Morals & Machines again next year, confident that it will continue to be a catalyst for shaping a responsible and ethical future.