AI and Ethics

Trendy Dots : Espresso
3 min readAug 20, 2019

Artificial intelligence is present in our lives and we interact with it almost everyday. The most common applications are our virtual assistants we carry with us on our smartphones. In fact this very article was dictated to such an assistant.

“Hey [ Siri, Google, Cortana or Alexa ] …” is a phrase that comes increasingly natural to us. I typically use it to find my way around a new place I’m in, search for local attractions, remind me of my next meeting and occasionally search the web for keywords. How about you?

We are also increasingly concerned about the ethics surrounding our personal data that is used by these kind of technology for providing the most relevant answers to our questions. Between 5.July.2019 and 5.August.2019 the topics of Artificial Intelligence and Ethics are highly correlated in terms of internet searches. This might be a possible outcome of several international and national media coverages about data and privacy issues with voice enabled assistant technology. These news may have determined an elevated searches in both AI and Ethics topics.

The chart above does not conclude that all the searches within the Ethics topic targeted AI, neither that all the searches within the AI topic targeted the ethics concerns.

It is usual for higher frequency searches during the week and lower frequency in the weekends. This behaviour is true for all the countries present in the data set. For example: a European overview of the distribution of people’s interest in AI and Ethics for the same period.


Artificial intelligence is more present in our lives and we more seamlessly interact with it. The debate around the ethics of companies using our data to create the statistical models that help us, is getting stronger around the world. In recent political debates the issue of safeguarding the personal identity is present (especially in Europe and the United States and Canada). It is not clear that our society accepts the convenient services of personalised AI in exchange our data collection, since most of the talks surrounding the subject include the knowledge of the large profits made by the companies who own this technology and variations of the concept of equitable privacy (people could accept to contribute with their data in exchange for some kind of reward, beyond the provided service).

How it’s made

This article was written with the help of the trendy dots research platform (illustrated below). The data set comes from Google Trends and the additional research was done through internet searches. At this point, the trendy dots research platform interfaces open data sources and facilitates its user a fast start in answering questions with data. It allows the user to plan a data driven article about the chosen topic.

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Trendy Dots : Espresso

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