AI Ethics Series: Ethical Debt and AI

Tags: Artificial Intelligence


Presented by the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program at Colorado Law and Silicon Flatirons.

Innovating Like an Optimist, Preparing Like a Pessimist: Ethical Debt and the Problem of Unanticipated Consequences for AI

Hardly a day passes without a new technology ethics scandal in the news, and many of them touch on AI—from privacy violations in data collection to biased output to unexpected uses of research. And when technologists come under fire, a common refrain is: why are they not thinking about potential harms? Like technical debt, the implied cost of future  bug fixes when we  rush to release  technology, ethical debt  is  what  we accumulate when we don’t  consider ethical and social implications during the design and development process. How can we help technologists be more forward-thinking, including learning from both science fiction writers and lawyers? And how might we understand the real impacts of AI on everyone, and give more people the knowledge and tools to help move towards the future we want instead of the one we fear?

AI Ethics Series

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is increasingly in use by both the government and the private sector, from the allocation of government benefits to the creation of smart contracts. However, poorly designed AI systems can lead to significant harms, including but not limited to discrimination. The question of how to regulate and build ethical AI is central. This lecture series will emphasize the practical applications of AI technology and ways to ensure principle-based ethics are a key focus of both development and regulation.

This is one of four sessions scheduled for the fall 2022/spring 2023, each with a different featured speaker. Follow the links below to register for each individual date you’d like to attend:

Register Now

Can’t make it in person? Register for virtual attendance to watch the livestream via Zoom Webinar. Unique join links will be distributed approximately 24 hours prior to the event.


10/20/22 11:30am - 12:00pm

@ Wolf Law Bldg, Rm 205

A light lunch and refreshments will be provided for registrants starting at 11:30 a.m.

10/20/22 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Lecture, Discussion, Q&A

@ Wolf Law Bldg, Room 205 and Zoom Webinar

  • Casey Fiesler
    Associate Professor, Information Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Harry Surden
    Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School

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