Upper Sugar

Day 2

Wednesday June 21, 2017
12:00 – 14:30

Precision Ethics

Industry Challenge

Traditional software development focuses on building applications to perform well defined tasks, whereas building artificial intelligence application requires teaching a computer to draw conclusions from provided information and act accordingly. Therefore Artificial Intelligence relies on giving a machine the right training data to learn for itself. If we teach a machine on biased training data we will emphasise the bias in today’s world.

It’s becoming more apparent that the ethical issues need to be addressed with recent case studies like Microsoft’s bot Tay which was trained on the Twittersphere and took less than 24 hrs for the AI to become a racist, sexist bigot. As well as Joy Buolamwini,  MIT Media Lab researcher who found that a robot recognised her black face better when she wore a white mask and has since set up the Algorithmic Justice League.

We’ll also hear about the Why Women in AI initiative. In April 2017 Tabitha, CognitionX’s Co-Founder launched the campaign to encourage men and women to think about the risks of an imbalance in the training data, creation of and deployment of AI.You can watch the first event and read more here: https://cognitionx.com/women-ai-highlights/.

Discussion Points

  • What are the risks of bias in AI?
  • Examples of where these bias have cause issues
  • How gender plays a role in AI, for example voice activated assistants with female personas
  • How can we create AI that takes into account ethical decisions?
  • How do we get more diversity into the companies creating AI?
  • How should companies address the ethical considerations?
  • Is it time to start crafting the “Hippocratic oath” for data science or updating Asimov’s rules for robots?



  • 12:00 – 12:30 Keynote
  • 12:30 – 13:30 Panel
  • 13:30 – 14:30 Breakout Session / Lunch Break



  • Keynote: Alan Winfield (Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England)
  • Panelist: Tracey Groves (Partner at PwC: Governance, Risk & Compliance Leader)
  • Panelist: Hetan Shah (Executive Director at Royal Statistical Society)
  • Panelist: Caroline Daniel (Partner at Brunswick Group)
  • Panelist: Dong Nguyen (Research Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute)