Image credit: Maxime Mouysset / Bloomberg Businessweek
An old XKCD comic quipped at the “two types of articles about machine learning”: the first being overly technical and the second being the equivalent of a bard on the street prophesying the apocalypse. While it’s fun for us to jab at unwarranted predictions, AI journalism has to grapple with a field that is truly unprecedented in its ethical implications and challenges. In a new paper in AI & Society, researchers dig into how news outlets think and write about new technology to understand how people think and feel about artificial intelligence.
Corresponding author Veljko Dubljević, an assistant professor of philosophy at North Carolina State University, states that while AI journalism includes sophisticated discussion, there’s plenty of room for improvement. For example, Dubljević notes that “[j]ournalists may benefit from reaching out to AI technology experts and ethicists to get the relevant facts and values straightened out.”
In 2018, the European Commission published the Communication on AI for Europe, which claims to reflect an ethical and legal framework to ensure that Europe develops AI in alignment with its values. In February of this year, the Commission unveiled its plan to strictly regulate AI—while not finalized yet, potential laws include a ban on “black box” AI systems that humans can’t interpret.
As with Europe’s privacy regulations, major tech companies and leaders in AI could be forced to modify their operations in response to European laws and regulations. And it appears that the coronavirus hasn’t stopped the EU’s stated plans to roll out regulations this year. We have seen the powerful role that AI is playing in the fight against coronavirus, but despite the fact that London’s DeepMind and other major organizations are developing AI that could help us in the fight, their innovations may be complicated by the AI laws the EU plans to unveil.
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