Your Thoughts for a Penny? Capital, Complicity, and AI ethics.

This 2022 article with Os Keyes in Economies of Virtue: The Circulation of ‘Ethics’ in AI and Digital Culture edited by Thao Phan, Jake Goldenfein, Monique Mann and Declan Kuch, considers the impact of corporate capture of AI research. In particular, Os and I look what it means to do research into the ethics of AI technologies. In this chapter, we examine both aspects by drawing from autoethnographic methods and presenting our experiences in the form of stories in which the authors, each entangled in this reality of industry funding in different ways, reflect on our experiences.

We examine how our work is shaped by industry funding, how we negotiate our own lines in the sand regarding when or how we are paid ‘pennies for our thoughts’, and how these negotiations and lines evolve over time. Engaging in both individual reflection and dialogic exchange, we ask ourselves (and each other): What lessons can be learned from the ethnographic realities of working on AI in academic settings in which research is reliant on industry funding?

Answering this question, one that confronts many researchers, will help us provide new insights into how corporate power plays out in the context of academic research on AI ethics

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The Technology we Choose to Create: Human rights advocacy in the Internet Engineering Task Force

This 2021 article in Telecommunications Policy is an ethnographic analysis of recent efforts in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to consider human rights values in the development of Internet networking standards and protocols. By deploying qualitative methods—65 semi-structured interviews and two years of ethnography—I provide a detailed anthropological picture of how IETF participants understand technology, and what consequences their perspectives have for human rights advocacy.

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Governing Artificial Intelligence

This 2018 issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A presents an in-depth analysis of the challenges and opportunities posed in developing accountable, fair and transparent governance for Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. How can this be achieved and through which frameworks?

AI increasingly permeates every aspect of our society, from the critical, like law enforcement, healthcare, and humanitarian aid, to the every day like dating. Simultaneously, AI may be misused or behave in unpredicted and potentially harmful ways. Questions on the role of the law, ethics, and technology in governing AI systems are thus more relevant than ever before.

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