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A call for an AI Ethics and Social Impact Analysis

We ask artificially intelligent systems to make order in our messy modern realities, but very rarely do we question what type of order. This is a call for an historical awareness of the social systems that we are building: Which social, cultural norms, values and interests do they represent, reinforce and enact?

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CPDP 2017: Ethics in the Age of Intelligent Machines

– by Gry Hasselbalch (based on panel debate participation, Ethics, Observational Platforms, Mathematics and Fundamental Rights, CPDP, Brussels, 2017)

A few years ago a social media company decided to do some experiments on its users. Filling their news feeds with positive or negative stories, they were measuring hundreds of thousands of people’s emotional reactions. When the story surfaced there was of course a public out cry and the company found it self in a situation where it had to show that it cared. So a spokesperson apologized publically. However, she didnt apologize because what they did had been ethically questionable, they were just sorry that it had been “poorly communicated”.

Legally you can do a lot with data right now, and a lot is done with data, that is not necesarilly in the best interest of the individual. And this is the point where we revisit ethics – when the laws, social awareness and formal systems in place are not enough.

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Is True Online Privacy Only for the Rich?

by Gry Hasselbalch and Pernille Tranberg

First appeared in DailyDot 23rd October

BLOG: How come Facebook knows that I have a mother with Alzheimer’s, a woman asked the other day. She was sure that she hadn’t provided the social medium with such sensitive information. But when quizzed a bit further, she confirmed that she had googled the illness and been browsing the Alzheimer’s Association’s website. Both websites “gossip” about visitors’ behavior behind their back to other websites, including Facebook, via third-party cookies.

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An Ethics for the Digital Age

– by Gry Hasselbalch

This January the European Data Protection Supervisor presented his new “Ethics Advisory Group”. A group of experts that will help him “reconsider the ethical dimension of the relationships between human rights, technology, markets and business models and their implications for the rights to privacy and data protection in the digital environment.” He is not the first European decision maker or thought leader to bring forward ethics as a guiding principle in the digital age. Over the last year digital ethics, and in particular data ethics, have become the “talk of the town” in Europe. Based on the realisation that laws have not followed pace with the development of digital technologies, technologists, academics, policymakers and businesses are today revisiting cultural values and moral systems when groping for a new ethical framework for the digital age.

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Standing in the Rip Current of the Algorithmic Economy with Closed Eyes

– by Gry Hasselbalch

How can we question the ethics of a service if we don’t have access to the details of how it is designed to act on data? How can we put a health warning on a product if we don’t know the ingredients?

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A toy that wants to “phone home”

– by Gry Hasselbalch

Toy manufacturers are today creating intelligent toys that remember, find patterns and respond to data from children. We need a data ethical approach to innovation in the development of an “Internet of Things” for children.

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Society of the Destiny Machine and the Algorithmic God (s)

– by Gry Hasselbalch, May 14 2015

Our destiny is a product. Fate is developed upon and innovated with. Fate is part of an actual machinery. It can be sold and traded with. Fate is something the Destiny Machine produces.

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