Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

AI Australia

Jul 20, 2020

Jeannie Paterson and Tim Miller join us from CAIDE to discuss AI, ethics, accountability and explainability.  What is changing in these spaces, especially in light of Covid-19, and what should researchers and governments turn attention to in order to ensure helpful, beneficial AI that is used ethically?


More About Our Guests: 

Jeannie Paterson & Tim Miller are the co-directors of the Centre for AI and Digital Ethics, a new collaborative, interdisciplinary research, teaching and policy centre at the University of Melbourne involving the faculties of Computing and Information Systems, Law, Arts and Science. Jeannie specialises in the areas of contracts, consumer rights and consumer credit law, as well as the role of new technologies in these fields. Jeannie’s research covers three interrelated themes:

  • Support for vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers;
  • The ethics and regulation of new technologies in consumer markets;
  • Regulatory design for protecting consumer rights and promoting fair, safe and accountable AI.

Jeannie is co-leader of the Digital Ethics research stream at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, an interdisciplinary research institute focused on social equity and community-led research Tim is associate professor in the School of Computing and Information Systems at The University of Melbourne, his primary area of expertise is in artificial intelligence, with particular emphasis on:

  • Human-AI interaction and collaboration
  • Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI)
  • Decision making in complex, multi-agent environments
  • Reasoning about action and knowledge

In this episode we investigate:

  • Tim discusses why the center publishes so frequently and the importance of public outreach, especially in times of crisis such as Covid-19.  
  • How did the center come about? How did Jeannie and Tim become involved with it?
  • Is the center independent? Is it a collaborative effort between the several similar centers across Australia such as the 3AI center in Canberra? Tim discusses how the centers work together as well as how to differ in vision and approach. Jeannie expresses the importance of an interdisciplinary approach and their dedication to this. 
  • Which subjects will they launch in semester two? Jeannie lets us know about subjects such as AI Ethics & Law which discusses how law responds to ethical dilemmas. What expertise does Jeannie have regarding law and the impacts of technology to consumers? 
  • What are counterfactuals? Jeannie answers, “What would you ask the machine when you’d receive a particular mortgage recommendation?” How do counterfactuals help scrutinize the basis of the decision to see if it is valid? How does this remove systematic bias and prejudice?
  • What are the new trends in explainable AI? Tim also delves into counterfactuals as well as cognitive psychology and cognitive science. How do you generate counterfactuals that are realistic? What do those look like? Tim expresses that the human factor in explainability is becoming increasingly important. 
  • Tim discusses the impacts of Covid-19 on conferences and networking in this space now that everything is virtual. How does it make things less connective and enticing? 
  • Jeannie answers, “What advice do you offer your family and friends regarding the Covid Safe app?” She delves into privacy and security as compared to the benefits and effectiveness of the app. Has the Covid Safe app set a precedent for privacy in Australia? Tim discusses how a contact tracing app was used by law enforcement to understand who was at a Black Lives Matter event and why this means there should be legislation surrounding apps such as this and how the data can be used. 
  • What scale of discouragement will it require to make a difference to Australian businesses? Is money the answer? Tim discusses why we must educate consumers about data collection and privacy, in part by exemplifying what information about them can be discerned from the data they share. How can consumers be proactive? Jeannie discusses how sometimes consumers are misled about what data is collected about them. 
  • Jeannie and Tim share their views about harmful tech and the ability to question automated decisions and the need for accountability to ensure that.