AI Group Seminar #8: Johannes Castner discusses ethical AI

Booking now available for latest AI Group seminar

The Institute of Science and Technology’s AI group is excited to announce this latest seminar: “Building the impossible: human centric, ethical AI” from Johannes Castner.

IST AI Seminar #8

Privacy concerns, unfair biases and the inability to explain AI methods more generally have dominated the AI ethics discourse. Such concerns are necessary but insufficient to deal with all important ethical considerations. By introducing elements of Amartya Sen’s Theory of Justice you will come to understand why Johannes regards forms of democratic representation as ethically paramount in AI design.

In this seminar, Johannes outlines an ethical approach to building AI systems that is built on human participation, such that the system learns to take actions that represent the full range of the participants’ ethical views and makes fair compromises where required.

Johannes is an intellectual and entrepreneurial adventurer who came to the US when he was 19 years old, without any education at all. He attended Santa Monica College (SMC) where he started studying Cultural Anthropology. From SMC he transferred to Columbia University in New York where economics became his major and Anthropology his minor.

After graduation and during the financial crisis, he worked for two years at the Boston Federal Reserve Bank as a research assistant, building his first statistical software package. At the same time he took courses on ethics and quantitative social sciences at Harvard, as a special graduate student. Johannes then returned to Columbia, for a masters degree in Sustainable Development where he conducted cognitive social science experiments and built novel software that was necessary to conduct them. This work led to a job at eBay.

At eBay, Johannes became a senior data scientist in a team that was focused on knowledge graph related issues, relevant to language understanding. After almost three years at eBay, Johannes left to start his own startup, called CollectiWise, where he began to work on a system that would allow a team of people to make decisions collectively. Since then, Johannes has been working in a few US and UK based AI consultancies and on his own to build all sorts of systems for a number of diverse clients in the US and in the UK.

Click here to register. Attendees will be sent details of the Zoom link via email a couple of days before the event.

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