Austin Clyde: AI and Democracy

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Monday 11/15
12:30 -13:30 pm
Speaker: Austin Clyde
Room: JCL 298

Zoom link

Title:
AI and Democracy
Artificial intelligence has impacted social, political, and economic spaces to unimaginable extents. AI is a new significant source of global power. With the incredible power to produce technological short-cuts for scientific discovery, financial sales through marketing, and reconfigure the material and social world, how do we involve citizens in asking what is the kind of world we all want to live in? To a certain extent, this question will be answered through extensive regulation currently being drafted in Europe. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has been hiring experts in artificial intelligence, and the White House Office of Science and Technology is drafting an AI “bill of rights.” How do we, as computer scientists, begin to think about the essential and existential unfolding of artificial intelligence on democracy? Do we have any responsibility to think about questions of politics, let alone ethics? How might our work be affected in one, five, or ten years? In this talk, I will share how ‘AI ethics’ is unfolding inside and outside of computer science departments. I will then shift the discussion to contextualize it within more critical questions in political theory. I aim to highlight what is at stake for concerned and unconcerned computer scientists as both will be affected by regulation and the state of fact which emerges.

Bio:
Austin is a third-year Ph.D. student studying AI methods for science advised by Rick Stevens. He is visiting science, technology, and society research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, focusing on the intersection of democracy, science, and artificial intelligence.

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Thanks for a wonderful, informative and entertaining talk yesterday @aclyde. Related to your WHOSTP interaction, I found this information about some upcoming sessions on engaging public on AI policy: https://cccblog.org/2021/11/11/ostp-announces-public-events-in-november-to-engage-the-american-public-in-national-policymaking-about-ai-and-equity/

The keynote that I watched by Audrey Tang, the Digital Minister of Taiwan:

Also, Austin, would you be so kind to share more relevant resources from your talk, such as your slides?

Talk: references https://uchicago.box.com/s/owwybqb4v2degrhhq7aldio084px0622

Also send me a slack/email if you’re interested in a reading group in the winter quarter!

References from slides:
System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot by Jeremy M. Weinstein, Mehran Sahami, and Rob Reich
Surveillance Capitalsim, Zuboff

Public Sphere:
Between Facts and Norms, Habermas

Hermeneutics and Technology:
Good overview article: Expanding hermeneutics to the world of technology

Technology:
instrumental rationality and technology: Technology Assessment and the Fourth Discontinuity: The Limits of Instrumental Rationality, Tribe (1972)
Technology and Science as Ideology, Habermas (in Towards a Rational Society)
Question Concerning Technology, Heidegger
Discipline and Punishment, Foucault
Any books by Don Idhe or Andrew Feenberg (maybe Shannon Vallor)

AI and Democracy:

Digital Technology and Democratic Theory Edited by Lucy Bernholz), Hélène Landemore, and Rob Reich

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Also, I wrote an op-ed on this and some of my stronger ideas (that I strayed from in the talk): https://techpolicy.press/human-in-the-loop-systems-are-no-panacea-for-ai-accountability/

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