AI NOW 2018 Symposium

October 16, 2018

NYU Skirball Center, New York, NY

Ethics, Organizing, and Accountability

Over the past year, research and advocacy have continued to expose bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies–from law enforcement’s use of facial recognition to healthcare algorithms that drastically and erroneously cut benefits for the sick. Yet even in the face of increased public awareness and concern, the rapid adoption of these systems across sensitive social and political domains continues, with little oversight or transparency.

Efforts to grapple with these challenges frequently focus on the importance of “AI Ethics,” but questions remain about how to translate ethical promises into meaningful accountability. In parallel, we have also witnessed a shift in urgency and tactics, as academics, advocates, and tech workers organize against the unchecked influence and impact of AI systems.

The AI Now 2018 Symposium addressed the intersection of AI, ethics, organizing, and accountability–examining the landmark events of the past year that have brought these topics squarely into focus. What can we learn from them and where is there more work to be done?


A Closer Look at Facial Recognition

A panel on the implications of face recognition technologies and their increasingly widespread use.

Nicole Ozer (Chair), ACLU of California

Timnit Gebru, Google AI; Black in AI

Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense Fund


A discussion with Astra Taylor, Director of ‘What Is Democracy?’, on her work examining the hidden labor behind AI.

Astra Taylor, Writer, Documentarian, Organizer

In conversation with Kate Crawford, AI Now Institute

Austerity, Inequality, and Automation

A panel on the increasing use of AI and automated decision systems at a time of rising inequality.

Vincent Southerland (Chair), Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at NYU

Philip Alston, NYU School of Law

Virginia Eubanks, University at Albany, SUNY

Litigating Algorithms

A discussion with lawyer and advocate Kevin De Liban on leading the court case against a flawed Arkansas state Medicaid algorithm.

Kevin De Liban, Legal Aid of Arkansas

In conversation with Kate Crawford, AI Now Institute

Research, Organizing, and Activism

A panel on the role of research and organizing in holding powerful technical systems, and those who deploy them, accountable.

Meredith Whittaker (Chair), AI Now Institute

Rashida Richardson, AI Now Institute

Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University