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UN Human Rights Chief Sounds Alarm on AI: Last week, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called for a moratorium on the use of AI that puts human rights at risk until “guardrails” can be put in place. Her comments coincided with the release of a UN report that painted a grim picture of how government and private use of AI can undermine human rights, especially the right to privacy. Among its recommendations, the report urged states to ban the use of biometric surveillance in public spaces — including facial recognition systems — until data protection and effective standards to mitigate bias and accuracy problems can be put in place. While Bachelet does not have regulatory power, her comments and the report’s recommendations closely mirror many of the ideas behind the European Union’s AI act, proposed earlier this year.
Ethics Panels & Internal Studies — Tech Giants Grapple with AI’s Effects: A handful of recent reports offer a glimpse into the internal battles of several major U.S. tech companies — Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft — as they grapple with the negative impacts of their AI and algorithmic products:
Reuters reported that Google, Microsoft and IBM significantly altered — or discontinued entirely — major projects after internal ethics boards raised objections about their potential impacts. Google declined a client’s request for an AI-powered credit scoring tool, while IBM nixed a facial recognition system capable of identifying fevers and face masks. Microsoft’s Sensitive Uses panel, meanwhile, placed limits on a voice emulation system over concerns about its potential use in deepfakes.
Commerce Department Sets Up AI Advisory Panel: Earlier this month, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the creation of the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee — a panel of experts that will advise the president and the National AI Initiative Office on issues related to AI. Both the NAIAC and the NAIIO were mandated by the National AI Initiative Act of 2020, which passed as part of the FY 2021 NDAA. The nine-member committee will provide recommendations and advice related to U.S. AI competitiveness, the state of AI research, AI ethics and bias, the makeup of the AI workforce and more, as well as offer feedback on the implementation of the National AI Initiative. The law requires that board members represent a variety of backgrounds and industries, including academic institutions, business, and civil rights and disability organizations. NIST says it has already received more than 65 nominations for the NAIAC and will continue to accept nominations until October 25.
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Please apply or share the roles below with candidates in your network:
AI Research Subgrant (AIRS) Program Director: CSET’s AIRS program will promote the exploration of foundational technical topics that relate to the potential national security implications of AI over the long term via research subgrants. The Director of AIRS will manage all technical, programmatic, and financial aspects of the new AIRS program.
Research Fellow – Cyber/AI: CSET’s CyberAI project is currently seeking Research Fellow candidates to focus on machine learning (ML) applications for cybersecurity to assess their potential and identify recommendations for policymakers (background in ML programming or cybersecurity highly desired:). Submit your application by October 1.
Senior Fellow: CSET’s Senior Fellows provide mentorship and intellectual leadership; shape and lead lines of inquiry and research projects aligned to our research priorities; and facilitate engagements with government, military, academic, and industry leaders.
Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, the home institution for CSET, is hiring for a Professor of the Practice in Security Studies and Director of External Education and Outreach: This three-year, non-tenure-line faculty position in the Security Studies Program will have teaching administrative responsibilities. The candidate would teach four courses a year and oversee SSP’s external education and outreach activities. A Ph.D. with a specialization in a security-related area is preferred. The start date for this position is January 1, 2022, though flexibility on start date is possible. Review of applications will begin on October 22, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.
Please visit CSET’s careers page to stay up to date on all active job postings.
University World News: Yojana Sharma reached out to CSET Research Analyst Jack Corrigan for an item about the August brief China is Fast Outpacing U.S. STEM PhD Growth, which Corrigan wrote with Remco Zwetsloot, Emily Weinstein, Dahlia Peterson, Diana Gehlhaus and Ryan Fedasiuk.
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