Ethics in AI Research Awards Initiative for the Asia Pacific
Artificial Intelligence (AI) technological developments pose intricate and complex ethical questions that the industry alone cannot answer. Important research questions in the application of AI should be dealt with not only by companies building and deploying the technology, but also by independent academic research institutions. The latter are best equipped to pursue interdisciplinary research that will benefit society.
To help support rigorous and groundbreaking academic research in these areas, Facebook is collaborating with the Centre for Civil Society and Governance of The University of Hong Kong and the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong (esteemed co-chair of the ICDPPC Permanent Working Group on Ethics and Data Protection in AI) to launch a Research Initiative to advance Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Asia Pacific region that takes into account different disciplinary perspectives. This line of research will also complement Facebook’s efforts that bolster independent research being done in these areas, like the TUM Institute for Ethics in AI and similar Research Awards offered in other countries and regions, such as India and Latin America.
The Research Initiative, through a Request for Proposals (RFP), will result in the production of papers from academic institutions, think tanks, and research organizations registered and operational across the Asia Pacific region. Proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee, and the entities whose proposals are selected will receive a research grant.
- Policy makers are emphasizing the need for ethics by design (see ICDPPC Declaration on Ethics and Data Protection in Artificial Intelligence here). What kinds of policy actions or regimes can foster academia and industry to collaborate for promoting and advancing ethics by design practices and frameworks?
- How can developers and companies ensure that their AI systems are explainable, what is the purpose of the latter, and what does it entail?
- How can academia help companies and governments better understand and operationalize ethics within their own sectors and activities? How can academia both inspire and build on industry best practices for responsible and ethical development of AI?
- How can developers and companies ensure that their AI systems and applications are built in a fair and unbiased way? How should social science and humanities questions around fairness and discrimination be embedded into the technical design of AI? What best practices can we advance in this space?
- How can developers and companies ensure that their AI systems are transparent to the affected individuals in a meaningful way? (For example: how will a person know whether he or she is being unfairly discriminated against because of an automated decision?)
- What level of autonomy or control should be provided to the affected individuals concerning the use of AI without compromising the legitimate purposes of AI, and how should the control be provided?
- How do formal legal instruments, including existing and proposed legislation, and ethical AI governance frameworks (informal) interact and mutually influence each other? Does the former stem or preempt the latter, and are they complementary or competing?
- What is the role of Ethical Codes in the broader regulatory landscape? How should they relate to laws and regulations (either existing or being debated)?
- What is the role of academia in 1) promoting research on AI Governance Frameworks; 2) analyzing, anticipating, and identifying gaps in legislation and other governance models related to AI development and use; and 3) articulating best practices to guide ethical and innovative uses of data?
- How should AI developers and companies foster and apply a multicultural approach to the ethical design of AI?
- How can we reconcile and strike a balance between the benefits of a global approach to the need to acknowledge important particularities and differences stemming from companies’ regional user base?
- What would be a sound and scalable methodology for researchers and product developers to recognize and solve ethical challenges, while leveraging different regional perspectives?