Barbara Grosz | Fostering responsible computing research



Published
Our weekly SRI Seminar Series welcomes Barbara J. Grosz, Higgins Research Professor of Natural Sciences in the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Grosz’s contributions to AI research include fundamental advances in natural-language processing and theories of multi-agent collaboration, and innovative models to improve healthcare coordination and science education. Grosz is a co-founder of Harvard's Embedded EthiCS program, and is known for her role in the establishment and leadership of interdisciplinary institutions and for her contributions to the advancement of women in science.

In this talk, Grosz will present the major findings of a recently-published U.S. National Academies report on responsible computing research, including practical steps for researchers to better ensure that ethical and societal consequences of computing are more fully considered.

Talk title:
“Fostering responsible computing research”

Abstract:
In recognition of the extensive reach of computing technologies, the speed at which computing research advances may be deployed in them, and their potential for ethical and societal impact, the U.S. National Academies appointed a study committee on responsible computing research. The committee comprised expertise in the social sciences, philosophy and law as well as diverse areas of computer science and engineering, information science, and computing technology development. It was charged with investigating the “personal and social consequences of computing research and its applications” and recommending approaches and best practices that computing researchers and the computing research community could take to address these impacts “in all phases of research from proposal to publication.” The committee’s recently released report provides for computing researchers descriptions and discussions of fundamental ethical concepts and socio-technical methods as well as presentations of an illustrative set of sources of ethical and societal concerns for computing research. Its three conclusions identify ways in which computing research must change and roles for computing researchers in development of policies and regulations.

The report’s recommendations enumerate practical steps that computing researchers and the computing research community can take to better ensure that ethical and societal consequences of computing research are more fully considered. It identifies multiple groups with responsibilities for carrying out the recommendations and developing implementations of them suitable for different areas of computing research and varying research environments: researchers, the research community, research sponsors, research institutions, scientific and professional societies and scholarly publishers.

In this talk, I will present the major findings, conclusions and recommendations of the report. I will then offer some personal reflections on implementation of the recommendations and solicit the audience’s thoughts on how to shape implementations so they work in their own research environments.

Learn more: https://srinstitute.utoronto.ca/events-archive/seminar-2022-barbara-grosz

About Barbara Grosz
Barbara J. Grosz is Higgins Research Professor of Natural Sciences in the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Her contributions to AI include fundamental advances in natural-language dialogue processing and in theories of multi-agent collaboration, and innovative uses of models developed in this research to improve healthcare coordination and science education. She co-founded Harvard's Embedded EthiCS program, which integrates teaching of ethical reasoning into core computer science courses. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is a fellow of several scientific societies and recipient of the 2009 ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award, the 2015 IJCAI Award for Research Excellence, and the 2017 Association for Computational Linguistics Lifetime Achievement Award. Grosz is also known for her role in the establishment and leadership of interdisciplinary institutions and for her contributions to the advancement of women in science.

About the SRI Seminar Series
The SRI Seminar Series brings together the Schwartz Reisman community and beyond for a robust exchange of ideas that advance scholarship at the intersection of technology and society. Seminars are led by a leading or emerging scholar and feature extensive discussion.
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