Accelerating digital innovation for growth, impact, and transformation of large established organizations.

Wednesday 26 April 2023, 12–1pm BST

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In this seminar, Dr Niccolò Tempini (University of Exeter) will discuss his work with the Ada Lovelace Institute and Alan Turing Institute producing the report ‘Looking before we leap: Expanding ethical review processes for AI and data science research’.

Research in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and data science is often quickly turned into products and services that affect the lives of people around the world. It is essential that this research is conducted safely and responsibly, and with due consideration for the broader societal impacts it may have. However, the traditional research governance mechanisms that are responsible for identifying and mitigating ethical and societal risks often do not address the challenges presented by AI and data science research. To address these problems, there have been increasing calls from within the AI and data science research communities for more mechanisms, processes and incentives for researchers to consider the broader societal impacts of their research. In many corporate and academic research institutions, one of the primary mechanisms for assessing and mitigating ethical risks is the use of Research Ethics Committees (RECs). However, the current role, scope and function of most academic and corporate RECs are insufficient for the myriad of ethical challenges that AI and data science research can pose.

‘Looking before we leap’ explores the role that academic and corporate RECs play in evaluating AI and data science research for ethical issues, and also investigate the kinds of common challenges these bodies face. In the seminar, Dr Tempini will discuss the research process and key findings of the report, including recommendations for academic and corporate RECs.

This seminar forms part of a series on Responsible Innovation in Digital Transformation.

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