Session: Artificial Intelligence and Sustainability: The good, the bad, and the ugly
There is a growing effort towards exploring the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, AI has already been helped to enable circular business models, accelerate the scientific discovery of new materials and drugs, and reduce e-waste.
It is also true that AI has a cost to the planet in terms of natural resources and CO2 emissions. Moreover, the exponential increase of AI applications has powered the rise of AI ethics, a field that studies the main ethical dilemmas and moral questions associated with the deployment of those technologies such as the displacement of workers by automation and their role in enforcing systemic biases, to mention a few.
In 2021, the European Union raised the stakes with its draft regulation for trusted Artificial Intelligence, which details compliance obligations on developers of AI solutions and proposes sanctions that can reach up to 30 million euros or the 6% of the global turnover of the accused company.
In this talk, I’ll outline these tensions between environment, society, and economy and explore how tech workers can contribute to building ethical artificial intelligence that delivers on its promise of sustainability.
- 1. Artificial intelligence (AI) applications can help monitor and reduce CO2 emissions as well as improve the allocation of resources.
- 2. AI solutions have a non-negligible cost to the planet in terms of natural resources and CO2 emissions.
- 3. AI applications can reinforce and automatize biases existing in our societies and workplaces. Often, those biases increase the challenges faced by groups that already experience historical disadvantages.
- 4. Tech workers are instrumental in building ethical AI that delivers on its promise of sustainability.
Dr. Patricia Gestoso is an award-winning inclusion strategist and technologist. She helps leaders to leverage diversity into their organizations so they can tap into new markets, boost innovation, increase reputation, and attract and retain talent. She is also DEI lead advisor for the British NGO We and I, focused on increasing awareness about the benefits and challenges of artificial intelligence.
Through her career as global head of scientific support, training, and services, Patricia has worked with Fortune 500 companies worldwide to build, deliver, and maintain science-based virtual solutions.
She is a cultural broker, with experience living in Europe, South America, and Canada and has built collaborations with nationals from 50+ countries. This global awareness prompted her to spearhead numerous initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in tech products and organizations and her efforts were recognized in 2000 with the UK Women in Tech Changemakers award. She has conducted research on the effect of COVID-19 on the unpaid work of professional women and the factors accounting for the low representation of women in leadership positions in tech companies.
Patricia advises companies, NGOs, and governmental organizations on the topics of diversity and inclusion, ethical and inclusive design, computer simulation, data analytics, and customer experience. Find out more about her work at patriciagestoso.com.