Making the AI-Development Connection at the AIES Conference 2020

Artificial Intelligence, Ethics and Society Conference 2020
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New York, US
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Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

The socialization of Artificial Intelligence and the reality of an intelligence economy marks an epochal moment. The impacts of AI are now systemic – restructuring economic organization and value chains, public sphere architectures and sociality. These shifts carry deep geopolitical implications, reinforcing historical exclusions and power relations and disrupting the norms and rules that hold ideas of equality and justice together.

At the centre of this rapid change is the intelligent corporation and its obsessive pursuit of data. Directly impinging on bodies and places, the de facto rules forged by the intelligent corporation are disenfranchising the already marginal subjects of development. Using trade deals to liberalise data flows, tighten trade secret rules and enclose AI-based innovation, Big Tech and their political masters have effectively taken away the economic and political autonomy of states in the global south. Big Tech’s impunity extends to a brazen exploitation – enslaving labor through data over-reach and violating female bodies to universalise data markets.

Thinking through the governance of AI needs new frameworks that can grapple with the fraught questions of data ownership, data sovereignty, economic democracy, and institutional ethics, in a global world with local aspirations. Any effort towards norm development in this domain will need to see the geo-economics of digital intelligence and the geo-politics of development ideologies as two sides of the same coin.

This was the crux of Anita Gurumurthy's keynote at the AAAI/ACM conference on Artificial Intelligence, Ethics and Society. Find the full text of the keynote here.