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You are now here: AI Ethics Primer- why this essay and webapp
This webapp was created in early July 2023 to support an essay on AI Ethics that released as part of a Kaggle competition.
I confess that actually, as had received the notification about the competition only few days before expired, I decided to use it for few purposes:
1. test if I could still prepare a review documents from sources I had to find in few days
2. create not just an essay ("a product"), as used to prepare white papers, feasibility studies, etc, but a living document.
So, after reading the file for the competition (which contained a list and few reference data items about any paper ever published on arXiv, including versions list, etc) using Python, decided that the data items I needed were not within those listed, and went directly onto arXiv.
What attracted me to file for the competition was not just the prize or potential for additional visibility, but also the "challenge" represented by some conditions within the rubric:
a. having to review in a meaningful way at least three reports on the same or other subject from your peers
b. having to produce sometthing that was to be accessible for non-experts
c. having to add editorial material (tables, charts) that could help get through the narrative.
I spent half a day to design the narrative, half a day to tailor searches on arXiv to narrative and back (i.e. altering narrative to tailor material), and an additional couple of half-working-days (my working days, not 9-to-5) to have a first draft with bibliography, define tables and charts based upon the material, and add closing information, list of figures, bibliography.
It was immediately apparent that, if I wanted to do something similar to my old white papers, had to limit the bibliography to few items that could allow a kind of "Do you want to know more"- but still be readible, and have a narrative that, also without reading any of the bibliography, could give an overview to my target audience: anybody interested in AI and its ethical potential impacts, data scientist/researcher or not, but probably with a slight preference to those who were on the "buyer" side, i.e. influencing by allocation of resources "why" an AI project was done, well before the "how" or "what" where identified.
No, did not win the prize- actually, did not even classify high within the list selected by the seven grandmasters, but got appreciations for my constructive comments and for usability- which were both part of my main target, as well as physical memento appreciating the quality of my comments- I will share a picture on my Kaggle profile when I will receive it, as I did years ago when I received another memento in appreciation of my contribution to the community.
Having found on arXiv over 600 papers covering AI, ethics, or a combination of both, after defining charts to show also the trends in AI and ethics papers release (and, in some cases, re-release), decided to:
A. create a "top ten" that was to be included both in narrative, charts, and bibliography
B. have a monthly update.
While there are thousands of articles about AI ethics, I decided to stick to arXiv as the only source, as it is a "collector" of papers published across a variety of business and academic venues- and found the archive continuously useful during my research activities since 2020, when I spent most of my Covid lockdown time in Italy by doing what I had planned to do for years, but never had time to do it continuously for few months: update my 1980s-1990s AI knowledge (mainly PROLOG) to Machine Learning and more modern open source tools (and, courtesy of Kaggle and others, nowadays also open source and free computing facilities for your own experiments).
This webapp started with A. and on 2023-08-11 visited arXiv for the first monthly update, and was confirmed in my assertions: in just one month, 58 papers concerning AI and ethics were added or revised.
Out of those 58, selected a couple of dozen that could be interesting both for my own activities and research, and, staying within the b. point above, be accessible and useful to those having to decide about or fund AI projects.
You can visit the link above to see the current status of the bibliography, listing all papers whose content is within this webapp.
As for my own essay, released as a Jupyter Notebook on Kaggle, will stay as it was, while I will publish on this website articles with further material.
The only update to the essay will be a comment at the top to highlight when a new webapp or bibliography version is released, plus any links to further Jupyter Notebooks or datasets relevant to the AI ethics theme.