On May 15, 2017, the Berkman Klein Center in collaboration with the Media Lab hosted “AI Advance,” a convening of 120 community members, including faculty, researchers, students, and fellows, in order to reflect and engage on the societal challenges of AI and related technologies, forge collaborations, and start to design research programs.
During AI Advance, the term “AI” was used in a broad sense to describe complex decision-making algorithms fueled by public and private datasets, rather than as a strict computer science term of art. Such technologies are widely employed today to guide corporate processes (such as insurance and financial risk analysis) and some public ones (such as in criminal sentencing in some jurisdictions); fully automated versions govern how news, updates, and advertising are presented to hundreds of millions of people via online social networks.
The event was meant as a community kickoff. The photos, videos, and summaries below capture some of the topics, concerns, and hopes expressed by attendees about the ethics and governance of AI. (The event adds to earlier AI ethics conversations led by Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, and Iyad Rahwan, associate professor at the Media Lab and an architect of Moral Machine, an interactive tool to explore moral questions that autonomous vehicle AI systems might need to make.) Not all members of the expanding AI community were able to attend. Still, the event offered a window into some of the relevant activities across the Berkman Klein Center and Media Lab that inform the joint AI initiative.