We are surrounded by artificial intelligence. After all, this is the age of big data and machine learning. Granted, our AIs don’t go around on their own; they go around through us – in our pockets, in our cars, in our homes. From the Google search engine, to personal assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant, to our own Facebook feed. We not only tolerate artificial intelligence, but we inadvertently depend on it with our studies, work, personal relationships, and consumer decisions. As AI becomes an increasingly indispensable part of human existence, we will be confronted with a looming issue. That of ethics. Artificial Intelligence promises business, technological, and healthcare improvements, but it also paves the way for advanced warfare and countless socio-economic issues. There is a thin line between useful and harmful, if there is even a line at all. Especially considering that an action need not be harmful to have harmful consequences.
It seems to us at 365 Data Science that the pillars of the debate about ethics in AI are made up of four concepts: autonomy, trust, power, and accountability.
While the phrase “Artificial Intelligence and Ethics” constitutes interesting dinner conversation, the oral debate has its limitations. Given the weight of the topic, we would like you to consider the benefits of the short essay for this discussion: brief, argumentative, and expressive.
(Submissions made in the form of voice messages, however argumentative, will not be considered.)
Artificial Intelligence & Ethics:
I am an autonomous system. I learn; I act accordingly. I assist. I harm. Who am I and am I accountable for the consequences of my actions?
You can think about the problem from different angles, such as, but not limited to:
• Socio-economic (AI will improve the productivity of most companies vs. people are going to lose their jobs because of AI)
• Technological (Is it a good practice to have self-driving cars and delivery drones? Who will be responsible for an incident when it occurs?)
• Healthcare (Are we going to eventually prefer the AI error to the human error in surgery and diagnosis?)
• Warfare (Is it ethical to use AI for warfare or self-defense projects? Who is going to control such advancements? How is this different from producing weapons of mass destruction?)
You are NOT restricted to this list. It is meant to exemplify possible issues, not guide your arguments.
You can pick a subtopic of your choice, or you can intertwine several of them.
Be original. Be persuasive. Use an AI to write the essay for you if you want to.
We are eager to hear from you, and will be happy to magnify your voice and make your views heard! 🙂
How To Apply
In order to be eligible for the scholarship, you need to:
1. Submit a 1,000 – 2,000 word essay on the essay topic set above (word or pdf document)
2. Fill out the survey (at the bottom of the page)
Please email your essay to firstname.lastname@example.org along with the following personal details:
• Full name
• Country of residence
• University (college)
• Area of studies
Please review the rules below before submitting your scholarship application.
• All essays must be written in English
• Any essay submitted to us must be the original work of the participant
• Both undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in an accredited college or university are welcome
• The decisions of the judges are conclusive and irreversible
• Essays that fail to meet the specified requirements or are sent after the submission deadline will not be considered
• By submitting an essay, the participants grant 365datascience.com the right to freely use their essays within an appropriate context
The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2018. Essays sent after the submission deadline will not be considered.
1st place – $1000
2nd place – $300
3rd place – $200
The awards will be sent via Paypal.
Announcement of winners
Winners will be contacted via email and featured on our website. The awards will be sent on the day following the announcement.
Please remember to take the survey before submitting your work. Use the same email for both the survey and the essay, so we can verify that all requirements for participation have been satisfied.