Global experts sign up to North East AI and Ethics journal

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by Stephen Chapman

More than a hundred experts in Artificial Intelligence and ethics have signed up to be part of a new journal created by the University of Sunderland’s Pro Vice Chancellor.

Professor John MacIntyre launches AI and Ethics this month, alongside his co-Editor-in-Chief, Professor Larry Medsker of George Washington University in the US, and Rachel Moriarty, Publishing Editor at Springer.

It’s taken them 5 years to put together and aims to promote informed debate and discussion around the ethical, regulatory and policy implications that arise from the development of AI.

“Our objective is to be useful to a wide range of audiences – the academic and scientific community, the commercial and product development community, users of AI, those developing governance and regulatory frameworks for AI, and the public,” explained Professor MacIntyre.

“We want to provide an outlet to publish high-quality work and making it available to be used by those audiences.”

It will feature thought-leadership articles along with peer-reviewed original research.

“The journal will provide opportunities for academics, scientists, practitioners, policy makers, and the public to consider how AI might affect our lives in the future, and what implications, benefits, and risks might emerge,” MacIntyre continued.

“Attention will be given to the potential intentional and unintentional misuses of the research and technology presented in articles we publish. Examples of harmful consequences include weaponisation, bias, and discrimination and unfairness with respect to race and gender.”

The editors will pose a series of questions, with the first editorial looking at AI’s significant growth and its benefits and risks:

“Artificial intelligence is generating economic benefit to many companies, as well as improvements in agriculture, manufacturing, health, finance, and so many other fields. It is not an exaggeration to say that AI is the underpinning technology (or group of technologies) powering a new industrial revolution, with profound consequences for the future in an increasingly integrated and internet-enabled world. We celebrate the achievements of AI, and congratulate those who have developed AI applications bringing these benefits,” they write.

“[However] Powerful voices have expressed concerns about the possible impact of AI on the future of humanity. Elon Musk has called AI the ‘greatest existential threat’ to our species, and yet is actively developing AI technology. Both Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking have expressed serious misgivings over how AI might be used, and the direction of travel of developments. These notable individuals are high-profile and visible, but many others, including some within the AI community itself, also express concerns, just as there are those who suggest that we need not be worried.

“At the crux of the questions raised is the fact that AI has developed such powerful capabilities, and applications are so widespread and ubiquitous, we cannot escape its impacts. As AI continues to develop, it is possible that our field has reached, or even passed, a tipping point where we must stop to ask ourselves a fundamental question – does the fact that we CAN do something, mean that we SHOULD?”

You can read the full editorial on Springer’s website.