HomeNewsWomen in AI: Kate Devlin from King's College explores AI and intimacy

Women in AI: Kate Devlin from King's College explores AI and intimacy

To give AI-focused women academics and others their well-deserved – and overdue – time within the highlight, TechCrunch is launching a series of interviews specializing in notable women who’ve contributed to the AI ​​revolution. As the AI ​​boom continues, we’ll publish several articles all year long highlighting necessary work that usually goes unrecognized. You can find more profiles here.

Kate Devlin is a lecturer in AI and society at King's College London. Author of Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots, which examines the moral and social implications of technology and intimacy, Devlin's research examines how people interact with and reply to technologies – each past and future.

Devlin – who led the UK's first sex tech hackathon in 2016 – leads advocacy and engagement for the Trusted Autonomous Systems Hub, a collaborative platform to support the event of “socially useful” robotics and AI systems. She can also be a board member of the Open Rights Group, a corporation that works to guard digital rights and freedoms.

questions and answers

In short, how did you start with AI? What attracted you to this field?

I began as an archaeologist, eventually moving between disciplines and completing a PhD. I graduated with a level in computer science in 2004. The idea was to integrate the themes, but I ended up becoming increasingly concerned with human-computer interaction and the best way people interact with AI and robots, including the reception that such technologies have.

What work are you most pleased with (within the AI ​​space)?

I’m pleased that intimacy and AI at the moment are being taken seriously as a tutorial area of ​​study. Amazing research is being done. It was once considered area of interest and highly unlikely; Now we're seeing people form meaningful relationships with chatbots – meaningful within the sense that they really mean something to those people.

How do you overcome the challenges of the male-dominated technology industry and due to this fact also the male-dominated AI industry?

I don't. We just hold on. It's still shockingly sexist. And possibly I don’t wish to “lean in”; Maybe I need an environment that isn't focused on macho qualities. I feel it's a two-pronged thing: we’d like more women in visible leadership positions, and we’d like to combat sexism in schools and beyond. And then we’d like a systemic change to stop the “leaky pipeline” – we're seeing a rise in women within the AI ​​and tech industries as a consequence of the rise in home working because it higher suits with childcare, which, let's face it, still is our task is. Let's have more flexibility until we not should do most of this care ourselves.

What advice would you give to women wanting to enter the AI ​​field?

They have the proper to take up as much space as men.

What are a few of the most pressing issues facing AI because it continues to evolve?

Responsibility. Accountability. There is currently a fever boom that depends upon technological determinism – as if we’re hurtling towards a dangerous future. We don't should be. You can reject that. It's okay to prioritize a distinct path. Very few of the issues we face are latest; The size and scope make this particularly difficult.

What issues should AI users concentrate on?

Uh… late capitalism.

More useful: Check provenance – where does the information come from? How ethical is the provider? Do they’ve a very good track record of social responsibility? Would you have got your oxygen supply checked on Mars?

What is the most effective technique to construct AI responsibly?

Regulation and conscience.

How can investors higher advance responsible AI?

From a purely business perspective, should you care about people, you should have much happier customers. We can see through ethics washing and make it really matter. Hold corporations accountable for considering issues corresponding to human rights, labor conditions, sustainability and social impact of their AI supply chain.


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