Luke Stark

University of Western Ontario

Date: 31st of May, 2021

Time: 16:00 (CET)

Title: Artificial Intelligence for Whose Social Good?

Abstract: "Ethical AI" and "AI for social good" are now global buzzwords—but ethical in what ways, and good for whom? I'll provide an overview of my recent work interrogating the contemporary social impacts of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) systems. Using critical design research and discursive analyses, I explore high-profile values statements endorsing ethical design for AI/ML and professional ethics codes in data science to question the grounding normative assumptions shaping our conversations around the social impacts of these computational systems. Guided by insights from science and technology studies, media studies, and the history and philosophy of technology, I advocate for expanding the "moral background" of "ethical" AI/Ml, and for broadening how practitioners understand expertise, and evidence, in these fields.

Speaker Biography: I'm an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies (FIMS) at the University of Western Ontario.

I research the ethical, historical, and social impacts of computational technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). I’m particularly animated by how these technologies mediate social and emotional expression, and are reshaping, for better and worse, our relationships to labor, collective action, and each other.

My current book project, Ordering Emotion: Histories of Computing and Human Feelings from Cybernetics to AI, is a history of affective computing and the digital quantification of human emotion, from 1950s cybernetics to today’s social media platforms.

Before joining FIMS, I was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics (FATE) Group at Microsoft Research Montreal; a Fellow and an Affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Dartmouth College. My PhD is from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and my BA & MA are from the University of Toronto.


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