WITNESS joins the Partnership on AI

Note from our Program Director Sam Gregory:

At a time when the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the processes of creating media, managing what we see, and moderating content is becoming increasingly important, WITNESS is glad to be joining the Partnership on AI. We look forward to engaging with others in the Partnership on AI (PAI)to address critical challenges around key focus areas of our Tech Advocacy work including misinformation and disinformation, content moderation, privacy, and facial recognition and deepfakes/synthetic media. There’s a critical opportunity now to ensure that AI is used in a rights-protecting and rights-enhancing way, to ensure that marginalized voices are part of the process of development and implementation and that ethical considerations about when AI is used are front-and-center. WITNESS will be co-chairing the new Working Group on Social and Societal Influence, which is beginning with a focus on AI and media.

From the PAI website:

We are excited to announce that we have added 10 new organizations to the growing Partnership on AI community. The latest cohort of new members represents a diverse range of sectors, including media and telecommunications businesses, as well as civil rights organizations, academia, and research institutes.

These new members will bring valuable new perspectives. For example, the addition of media organizations will be crucial at a time when AI-enabled techniques in synthetic news and imagery may pose challenges to what people see and believe, but also may help to authenticate and verify information.

PAI is also committed to ensuring geographic diversity in exploring AI’s hard questions, and as a result, the latest group of new members includes organizations from Australia, Canada, Italy, South Korea, United Kingdom, and the United States, allowing us to bring together important viewpoints from around the world.

The following organizations join the Partnership on AI in November 2018:

Autonomy, Agency and Assurance Innovation (3A) Institute
American Psychological Association
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
DataKind
The New York Times
OPTIC Network
PolicyLink
Samsung Electronics
The Vision and Image Processing Lab at University of Waterloo
WITNESS

Partnership on AI Executive Director Terah Lyon, said “We are proud to welcome a diverse new group of organizations and perspectives to the Partnership on AI, and I look forward to seeing the impact of their contributions. Technology is a series of decisions made by humans, and by involving more viewpoints and perspectives in the AI debate we will be able to improve the quality of those decisions.”

Matthew Postgate, Chief Product and Technology Officer at the BBC, said: “I am delighted that the BBC has joined the Partnership on AI. The use of machine learning and data enabled services offer incredible opportunities for the BBC and our audience, but also present serious challenges for society. We will only realise the benefits and solve the challenges by coming together with other media and technology organisations in the interests of citizens. Partnership on AI and its member base provide the platform to do just that, and I am committed to ensuring the BBC plays an active part.”

Nick Rockwell, Chief Technology Officer at the New York Times, said: “Our mission at The New York Times is to help people better understand the world, so it is imperative that we understand and participate in the ways technology is changing our lives. At The Times, we already use artificial intelligence in many ways to deepen our readers engagement with our journalism, always in accordance with ethical guidelines and our commitment to our reader’s privacy, so we are both deeply excited and deeply concerned about the power of artificial intelligence to impact society. We are excited to join the Partnership on AI to continue to deepen our understanding, and to help shape the future of this technology for good.”

Jake Porway, Founder and Executive Director at DataKind, said: “We couldn’t be more aligned to the Partnership on AI’s cause as our mission at DataKind is virtually synonymous — to create a world in which data science and AI are used ethically and capably in the service of humanity. There’s huge potential to reach this goal together, and we’re particularly excited to play the role of connector between the many technology companies in the group committed to making positive social change and the needs on the ground that they could support.”

The new cohort of members will participate in the Partnership’s existing Working Groups and will join new projects and work beginning with the Partnership’s upcoming All Partners Meeting.

The Partnership on AI exists to study and formulate best practices on AI, to advance the public’s understanding of AI, and to provide a platform for open collaboration between all those involved in, and affected by, the development and deployment of AI technologies.

To succeed in this mission, we need deep involvement from diverse voices and viewpoints that represent a wide range of audiences, geographies, and interests.

We welcome questions from organizations interested in learning more about membership. To contact us, please see the forms available here.



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