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Ben Reid

AI, Labour and the Economy working group launches in NYC

FaceMe’s Victor Yuen recently attended the  AI, Labour and the Economy working group launch in New York for the Partnership on AI.  Here he shares the event highlights.

I attended the kick off all day working session for the AI, Labour and the Economy for the Partnership on AI recently. The intention of this session was to align members of the group and identify projects to work on.

There was a good mix between non-profit and profit companies represented. Google, eBay, IBM and Microsoft had representatives there as well as Berkley University, Princeton and the Future of Intelligence centre.

With around 15-20 people in the room, of various backgrounds. It was good to see involvement at a senior level – such as the Chief Economist of Google and Chief Analytics Officer of IBM.

It’s clear that there was deep experience and wide networks with the people in the room. This offers a unique opportunity for the parties involved. For the Partnership and partner organisations, it affords some incredible access to resources. I see potential for AI Forum of New Zealand to leverage these connections and provide value to New Zealand as a whole – whether that be in the private or public sector. We also have a unique offering to the Partnership given our culture and the way our country operates.

For those that aren’t familiar with the structure, there are three initial working groups within the Partnership on AI.

  • Safety and Critical AI
  • Fair, Transparent and Accountable AI
  • AI, Labour and the Economy

The Partnership is still in its formative stages and has limited resources to deploy. That being said, it is clearly gaining momentum and will be actively involved in supporting projects and has the intention of funding research and other impact based activities.

In the end, there were three main projects that were agreed on for further refinement.

  1. The development of a rating standard for organisations. One that measures an organisation’s adherence to good ethical and compliance standards. The intention is that this visibility will help promote awareness and motivation to improve practices.
  2. The development of a series of case studies. This is a broad set of case studies that surfaces learnings on how organisations are dealing with a range of issues such as labour displacement, the use of AI in the vetting of new employees, ethics and transparency and policies.
  3. The creation of an AI Readiness framework. The intention for this tool is to help developing communities accelerate their ability to leverage AI technologies and minimise the inequality of access/adoption of AI technology.

I have personally taken on leading project #3 and we are all in the stages of fleshing out what this project might look like. This includes defining clear objectives, milestones and what resources will be required to execute.

There’s a lot more work ahead as we kick off these projects – but it’s a promising start and it’s inspiring to see so many great minds addressing some of what might become major social issues.

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Ben Reid I head up the AI Forum of New Zealand - working to harness the power of AI to help bring about a prosperous and inclusive future for New Zealand and the world. The AI Forum NZ brings together technology firms, businesses, universities and the government to connect, promote and advance the national AI ecosystem.