Date: 7th June, 2021 (16:30-18:30)
Speaker: Dr. Maurice Chiodo (Cambridge University)
Title: Ethical issues in mathematical processes
Abstract: Mathematics is used in a variety of technical computer-based processes, including AI, and decentralised ledgers (blockchain). The choice – the human choice – of what mathematics to use, and how to use it, plays an integral part in determining the impact these technologies have on people, on society, and on the world around us. In this regard, mathematics is highly “de-abstracted”, and given a very real and tangible use.
In this talk I’ll discuss some of the impact that these technologies can have, and the way that the mathematically-trained develop them and introduce problems. This will include amplification (where small issues in a product deployed on a large scale become large systematic problems), calcification (where existing unfairness in society is reflected in the the new technology in ways that become hard to change or remove), and accountability (when a mathematical process make a moral “decision”, who do we hold morally accountable?).