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Lunchtime talk 2 with Mhairi Aitken on Establishing a Social Licence for AI

March 8, 2023 @ 12:30 pm 1:30 pm

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The second lunchtime talk with Dr Mhairi Aitken on ‘Establishing a Social Licence for AI: Addressing ethical considerations through trustworthy practice’ organised by the AHRC-funded project Unlocking our Digital Past with Artificial Intelligence (LUSTRE) took place on 8 March 2023.

Watch the recording of the lunchtime talk below

Abstract: Current attention directed at ethical dimensions of Artificial Intelligence has led to increasing recognition of the need to establish a “Social Licence” for current and future practices. The notion of a “Social Licence” recognises that there can be meaningful differences between what is legally permissible and what is socially acceptable. Establishing a Social Licence entails public engagement to build relationships of trust and ensure that practices align with public values. Such approaches are needed across all areas and industries of data-intensive innovation to complement regulation and inform ethical practice. This is important to underpin culture change and to move beyond rhetorical commitments to develop best practice putting ethics at the heart of innovation. In my talk I will summarise key ethical considerations relating to the design, development, deployment and governance of AI and explore the importance of public engagement to establish trustworthy practices needed to underpin responsible innovation. In particular, I will explore the opportunities and challenges that may encountered in embedding public engagement within design, development and deployment of AI systems.

Speaker: Dr Mhairi Aitken is an Ethics Research Fellow in the Public Policy Programme at The Alan Turing Institute. She is a Sociologist whose research examines social and ethical dimensions of digital innovation particularly relating to uses of data and AI. Mhairi has a particular interest in the role of public engagement in informing ethical data practices. Mhairi’s research draws on her background in Sociology and Science and Technology Studies (STS) to examine social and ethical dimensions of innovation. Her past research has focussed in particular on the role of machine learning in finance; governance of data-intensive health research; ethical considerations around secondary uses of health data and planning and development processes relating to renewable energy projects.


March 8, 2023
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
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