I'm thrilled to say - I am DONE! I handed in my final research paper this week and now I await graduation.
I have been fortunate to have the support of an amazing community on my academic journey. I am tremendously grateful to the following people:
First and foremost, my husband Ken, who has always been my biggest champion. Thank you for supporting me in every way.
The MACT 2018 cohort – you guys are the best! Thanks for the solidarity in learning.
The MACT team – Professors Gordon Gow, Thomas Barker, Rob McMahon, Mark Wolfe, Megan Lefebvre, Jason Daniels and Program Administrator, Eileen Crookes, thank you for all you do to deliver a high calibre learning experience.
My supervisor, Professor Geoffrey Rockwell, thank you for great discussions, valuable advice, opportunities to grow as a researcher and reminding me that it would all work out.
Professor Jonathan Schaeffer, thanks for inspiring my interest in AI and ethics, for supervising my self-directed course and your ongoing support of my work.
MACT alumni Hanne, Colleen and Sherrell, thanks for your friendship and being a sounding board on so many things.
Rose and Ken, thank you so much for being references, resources and friends.
MacEwan University, thanks for supporting me with professional development funding.
The participants in my study, thank you so much for being part of my work and generously sharing your time.
My two AI ethics reading group members: Howard, Tugba, Emad, Jonathan, Marilene, Julie, Daniel, Fahim and Nicole. It has been such a gift to learn and unpack ideas with you.
Professor Kyle Whitfield, thanks so much for great chats about the research process.
All of my Back to School Again podcast guests, thanks for sharing your remarkable stories. You inspired me more than you will know.
Last, but not least, my parents, whose early work set the stage for this degree. Thank you!
The abstract for my paper
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a technology that is quickly becoming part of our digital infrastructure and woven into aspects of daily life. AI has the potential to impact society in many positive ways. However, there are numerous examples of AI systems that are operating in ways that are harmful, unjust and discriminatory. AI systems are constructs of the choices made in their design. They exist within a socio-cultural context that reflects the data used in their training, the design of their mathematical models and the values of their creators. Ethics, the moral principles that guide our behaviour, can help us decide what values we want to uphold. There are opportunities to introduce a broader ethical perspective into AI development which might serve to mitigate harms and yield better outcomes in designing trustworthy AI systems. Ensuring that we have ethically aligned AI is important for achieving the trust and social license needed to apply AI in high stakes fields such as healthcare. This study explores the question:
How can AI researchers working on healthcare related projects use ethics tools to inform their research process?
An exploratory, qualitative research design was selected to examine this question using a combination of individual interviews with AI researchers (PhD students) working on healthcare projects followed by a focus group. The subsequent findings and discussion highlight how ethics tools can play a role in helping AI researchers address ethical issues in the context of their work by offering a means to broaden ethical thinking in ways that go beyond technical fixes.
Keywords: artificial intelligence (AI), ethics, healthcare, data, privacy, bias, ethics tools
I am busy building Season Four of the Back to School Again podcast which is set to launch in September. In the coming weeks, I'll be turning this blog into a website for my soon to launch business, which will be called Ethically Aligned AI. Stay tuned for more details!