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What Society Must Require from AI | Ron Baecker (U. of Toronto)

  • 03 Apr 2019
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Bahen Centre, 40 St George St, Room 1170


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What Society Must Require from AI


Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, especially machine learning (ML) programs, are now being employed or proposed for use in scanning résumés to weed out job applicants; evaluating risks children face in their families; informing judicial decisions about bail, sentencing, and parole; diagnosing medical conditions, as opposed to just classifying medical images; caring for seniors; driving autonomous vehicles; and guiding and directing drones in eliminating terrorists.  My talk will propose what society must require of algorithms that affect human prosperity, welfare, health, life, and death.  I shall discuss concepts such as anthropomorphism, transparency, explainability, trust, accountability, responsibility, fairness, and justice.  The results will aid researchers in prioritizing problems for AI research, and will assist policy makers and citizens in determining how and when AI technology should be deployed.


Ron Baecker is Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He co-founded the Dynamic Graphics Project, and founded the university’s Knowledge Media Design Institute and its Technologies for Aging Gracefully lab (TAGlab).  Recently, he has been a research lead in AGE-WELL, Canada’s technology and aging network. He has been named one of the 60 Pioneers of Computer Graphics by ACM SIGGRAPH, has been elected to the CHI (Computers and Human Interaction) Academy by ACM SIGCHI, has been named an ACM Fellow, and has been given the Canadian Human Computer Communications Society Achievement Award and a Canadian Digital Media Pioneer Award. He is the author of 5 books including Computers and Society: Modern Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2019) and is the founding Editor of the Synthesis Lectures on Assistive, Rehabilitative, and Health-preserving Technologies (Morgan & Claypool, Publisher). 

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