There is so much buzz about AI. What is real? What is fiction? This hands-on session, led by artists and researchers from Harvard's metaLAB, will bring together tech professionals, creatives, and scholars to explore AI questions big and small, and come up with quick prototypes and creative solutions with unexpected (and yes, shiny) materials. Steeped in the practice of visualizing ideas, and making complex questions accessible to broad audiences, the workshop will focus on AI's current and future impacts on society, and how to productively contend with and move forward in this exciting and challenging time. Designed for people from diverse fields and perspectives (from the highly technical to not at all technical) to come together, engage, create things, and surface new insights.
Artificial Intelligence is increasingly ubiquitous. Algorithms make important decisions that affect our lives, from how we are policed to what ads we see online, and yet the datasets on which they’re built are inconsistent, unrepresentative, and not always appropriately vetted or used. In other words, the problem with bad outcomes isn’t always the machine or the algorithm - it is often the health of the data itself. In an effort to address this problem, there are several initiatives and methods currently being tested to address dataset health. This panel will bring together experts across industry, academia, and government to discuss methods for identifying bad data, and ways to appropriately address problematic inputs.
What is the role of online humor in difficult times? Does humor help us deal with difficult politics, or does it exacerbate social divides? Can humor help marginalized communities or further entrench power? Does humor help to propagate fake news or amplify important truths? Over the past year, we’ve seen the intersection of meme culture, GIFs, hashtags, selfies, puns and other aspects of online humor being dissected and discussed everywhere from the halls of government to international news. In this panel, we bring together online humorists, meme creators, writers, and researchers to discuss online humor's role in society, news, politics, culture, activism, and online life.
Pics… and it didn’t happen. Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are vastly increasing the scope of media manipulation. Technology now enables fabricated or altered media (manipulation by editing) and distorts what media people can access (manipulation by curation). This panel will cover two case studies: an AI that does rapid, automated “doctoring” of images and media recommendation algorithms that amplify or suppress content. Panelists will debate the society-wide dangers of fake and misleading media to democracy, privacy, cultural production, and more. They’ll discuss current efforts to raise awareness as well as possible legal remedies for the development and use of AIs that generate fraudulent, defamatory, or otherwise unlawful content.
Token offerings are evolving beyond the Wild West environment. Regulators are engaging, institutional investors are getting involved, technology is advancing, and entrepreneurs are gaining experience with token-based business models. How are ICO models changing, in the US and around the world? Can concerns about fraud, legal compliance, and governance be addressed without stifling innovation? Will we look back on ICOs as a short-term bubble or the foundation of a durable new investment form? Is the real opportunity in creating decentralized businesses where users fund development, programmable “securities tokens” that transform Wall Street, or something else? This panel of leading legal and financial experts on token offerings will highlight the latest developments around the world.
Blockchain systems and cryptocurrencies are going to change the world. They are also deeply misunderstood, and wildly overhyped. THE BLOCKCHAIN AND THE NEW ARCHITECTURE OF TRUST offers a penetrating, balanced analysis of what’s really going on. If cryptocurrencies and the blockchain represent alternatives to trusted institutions, what makes THEM trustworthy? What happens when things go wrong? (Which they have. Often.) Given how easy it is to declare, “There’s a blockchain for that!” when does a blockchain actually add value? Can decentralized, global systems based on immutable enforcement of software-based smart contracts be reconciled with government-issued law and regulation? Should they be? Is governance possible with decentralization…and is decentralization possible without it?
Digital health is exploding as a field, with a record $5.8 billion in startup investments in 2017. We are creating more data than ever about our health and habits. Much of it is put to good use, helping patients manage conditions, allowing researchers to understand the patient experience, and keeping providers up to date. But what happens when health data is used in reprehensible ways? Contributing to medical identity theft or feeding an AI-powered bot that denies reimbursement for other patients are all real concerns. In this conversation, our panel of experts will speak about their experiences and concerns regarding ethical issues surrounding digital health data and reveal how those involved can overcome their roadblocks to using digital health data for positive change.
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