Each year, MozFest uses technology, art, design, activism and other avenues to explore a theme that’s central to the health of the internet. In 2019, we’re focusing on the influence of artificial intelligence (AI) on our everyday lives.
Under the banner of “Healthy AI,” we’re asking how these powerful technologies can be designed with openness, inclusion, security, and user agency as central principles.
If you’re new to the world of AI, don’t worry! Read on to learn more about this theme, and discover where you and your work fit in at MozFest 2019.
AI may seem like a concern for the far future, bringing to mind humanoid robots from sci-fi films like Star Wars or Blade Runner. But a different form of AI is already widely used today — and our world is shaped by the decisions AI-based systems make for us, sometimes on a massive scale. From search engines and social networks to facial recognition to navigation apps and self-driving cars, AI is behind many emerging and familiar technologies we use or encounter daily. Here are just four examples of present-day AI in action:
- A user does an online image search for the word “doctor;” an AI-powered search algorithm, trained on data about previous successful searches, returns images of primarily white male doctors.
- AI on sites like YouTube frequently recommend more radical content, because sensational material keeps people on the site — and watching ads — for longer.
- In some countries, law enforcement use “predictive policing” tools. These AI-based technologies, trained on vast historical data sets, are designed to determine if an individual is likely to commit a crime in the future.
- AI company DeepMind (a Google subsidiary) partnered with the Royal Free London NHS Trust to test an AI tool to detect acute kidney disease; the tool was trained on 1.6 million NHS patient data records.
Our 2019 theme, Healthy AI, is an opportunity to learn and reflect on where AI shows up in your life, and in your community. What kinds of decisions does AI make for you? What are your hopes for these new technologies, and what are your concerns?
If your work typically aligns with one of MozFest’s spaces, we encourage you to look for connections between that issue and the AI theme. How can your communities become more literate about the AI of today? Where and how can AI become more open, more transparent, and more community-driven? How can these systems be decentralized, to increase user agency, and control? How can we ensure that AI technologies are inclusive of and benefit marginalized users, rather than exploiting or targeting them? What happens when our personal, private data is used to train AI systems, and what can we do about it? We’re excited to see your session proposals that relate to and expand on “Healthy AI.”
Please note, a theme connection is not required for every session proposal! You’re still more than welcome to submit a session relevant to any of the internet health issues and spaces, without a connection to the theme.