Addressing the future use and misuse of our data

Hosted by the University of Sydney, the ethics of data science conference brought together world-renowned experts to address the current crisis in confidence around machine learning, artificial intelligence and data use.

Self-driving cars, automated personal assistants and domestic violence, and how they each relate to data and artificial intelligence, were just some of the topics up for debate at this week’s Ethics of Data Science conference.

There’s no denying that data and artificial intelligence are well on their way to impacting every facet of our daily lives. Already, industries and governments are relying on machine learning to make important decisions that will have a real effect on the lives of consumers and citizens.

Hosted by the University of Sydney between 27-29 March 2019, the forum brought together world-renowned experts to address the current crisis in confidence around algorithms, including Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Edward Santow and Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Head of Data Science, Dan Jermyn.

Algorithms are a fundamental tool in everyday machine learning and artificial intelligence, but experts have identified a number of ethical problems. Models built with biased and inaccurate data can have serious implications and dangerous consequences, ranging from the legal and safety implications of self-driving cars and incorrect criminal sentencing, to the use of automated weapons in war.

The conference’s speakers, who spanned diverse disciplines including ethics, law, and artificial intelligence, discussed the current research and practice relating to the ethics around algorithms, and identified solutions for creating a new generation of ethical data science techniques.

It is important to note that algorithms are not unethical, it is the bias in sampling created by some implementations of them which is an issue.


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