A man and his son are in a terrible accident and are rushed to the hospital for critical care. The doctor looks at the boy and exclaims “I can’t operate on this boy, he’s my son!”. How could this be?

The answer? The doctor is the boy’s mother

My answer… After puzzling over this for a minute, I concluded that the boy had two fathers. Though I don’t entirely dislike my answer (we have a bias towards heteronormative relationships) I only came to this conclusion because my brain couldn’t compute the idea of the doctor being a woman. …

On the 8th of April 2019, the EU’s High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on AI released their Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, building on over 500 recommendations received on the ‘Draft Ethics Guidelines’ released in December 2018.

In this blog, I want to help you understand what this document is, why it matters to us and how we may make use of it.

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What is it?

The ‘Draft Ethics Guidelines’ is an advisory document, describing the components for ‘Trustworthy AI,’ a brand for AI which is lawful, ethical and robust. As the title suggests, this document focuses on the ethical aspect of Trustworthy AI…

The story

On February the 14th 2019 Open AI posted their peculiar love-letter to the AI community. They shared a 21-minute long blog talking about their new language model named GPT-2, examples of the text it had generated, and a slight warning. The blog ends with a series of possible policy implications and a release strategy.

“…we expect that safety and security concerns will reduce our traditional publishing in the future, while increasing the importance of sharing safety, policy, and standards research” OpenAI Charter

While we have grown accustomed to OpenAI sharing their full code bases alongside announcements, OpenAI is committed to…

Understanding ‘The Common Good’ and how it relates to AI

‘The common good’ is being increasingly referenced in relation to AI on all levels. It’s in the headline of the House of Lords Artificial Intelligence Committee report, stating that AI should be developed for the common good of humanity. It’s referenced in the EU HLEG ‘Draft Ethics Guidelines’… 8 times… It was even highlighted in a conversation between Microsoft President Brad Smith and Pope Francis a couple of weeks ago.

But what does it mean?

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What does it mean?

Superficially we hear the common good and assume it means ‘things which are good for everyone’. And you’d be right (TL;DR, just close this tab now and save yourself 10…

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Imagine a world where everyone is exactly the same as you. You arrive at work in the morning to see your colleagues, who all arrive at the same time as you, dressed in the same way. You have a meeting later in the day, full of people just like you. You’re the type of person who likes to disagree in meetings, and therefore everybody else is too, so you have a bit of heated discussion but end up agreeing on the thing you’d planned to do at the start of the meeting. …

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I’m currently reading ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman, and one part talks about how to write memorable messages. The take away — People remember things that rhyme.

I thought I’d make a few rhymes about ethical AI, which will hopefully come to mind next time you kick off a project.

Here goes!

Feed your AI biased data

And it’ll show that bias later

Allegheny State once created an algorithm to assist police, suggesting the routes their patrols should take and the people that they should stop and search. It had a bias towards checking neighbourhoods with a higher black population.

Why? It’s not because there’s anything inherently worse about…

This blog is part of a series

The first part is: AI — The Control Problem

In an earlier blog, I discussed the control problem — The challenge we face controlling a machine which thinks in an entirely different way to us and may well be far more intelligent than we are. Even if we have a perfect solution to the control problem we are left with a second problem, what should we ask the AI to do, think and value?

This problem is AI alignment.

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The AI is likely to be much faster than us (if it isn’t, why…

“Men who made machines who want what they decide” — Childish Gambino, Feels like Summer.

Childish Gambino’s latest song reflects on the endless changes happening in our world, which seem always to be going in the same direction, hotter, faster, more, exhausting our resources and even killing things like the bees which we depend on — All the time trying in vain to slow down, and wishing the same for our children.

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Feels like Summer — Childish Gambino / RCA Records

One line in the song stood out to me — Men who made machines who want what they decide.

I see this line in two ways. One, where…

Machines are rational, and humans are irrational, right? Wrong. Both humans and machines are irrational and for strikingly similar reasons. In this blog, I’ll tell you why, and how it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

First of all, what do I mean by rationality?

Logical decisions, based on data are rational decisions. Ideally, to make the most rational decision you want a perfect data-set. A data-set which is full, accurate and unbiased. You want to process this data logically, updating the probability of each outcome with each new piece of data.

So, why are humans biased?

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Our human brains evolved…

When designing a system to be more intelligent, faster or even responsible for activities which we would traditionally give to a human, we need to establish rules and control mechanisms to ensure that the AI is safe and does what we intend for it to do.

Even systems which we wouldn’t typically regard as AI, like Amazon’s recommendations engine, can have profound effects if not properly controlled. This system looks at items you have bought or are looking to buy. …

Ben Gilburt

I write marginally better than GPT-2 (small model only) @realbengilburt

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