Global Challenges 2019

This event is past. Click HERE for video recording.

Human and robot shaking hands
Fear of AI keeping you up at night?

Emerging technologies seem to be influencing systems and individual choices at a rate and scale beyond our ability to understand. What’s actually happening and what can or should we be doing about it?

Each year, UW Honors freshmen tell us what keeps them up at night. Their concerns set the focus of a robust public event where experts from different backgrounds demonstrate the power of collaborative problem-solving at high levels of engagement. Students are concerned about lack of governance, transparency and ethics in fields driven by new technologies.

Paradigm-shifts driven by rapid technological advancements impact all of us, but who decides how they are designed or deployed? What does accountability look like in such a complex environment?

We invite our entire community to explore this topic together in a public conversation with speakers Anna Lauren Hoffmann (UW iSchool), Ece Kamar (Microsoft Research) and Shankar Narayan (ACLU) at the UW Honors Program’s 2019 Global Challenges/Interdisciplinary Answers event.

Global Challenges/Interdisciplinary Answers
Technology, ethics and social change…who cares?
Wednesday, Nov 6, 6:30 p.m.
HUB North Ballroom, UW Seattle Campus


About the speakers

Anna Hoffman GCIA

Anna Lauren Hoffmann

Assistant Professor, UW Information School

Hoffmann’s work centers on the uses of information technology to promote or hinder the pursuit of important human values like respect and justice. She examines how data, information, and technological systems discriminate by undermining the development of self-respect of some, especially through the infliction of symbolic and discursive violences. Hoffmann lends valuable insight into popular and governmental/corporate development of ethics education for data professionals and computer scientists, as well as broader research ethics and professional codes of ethics.

Ece Kamar GCIA

Ece Kamar

Senior Researcher, Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group at Microsoft Research

Kamar is passionate about AI systems that combine the complementary strengths of machines and people. She not only investigates the impacts of AI on society, but studies and leads internal efforts at Microsoft to develop AI systems that are reliable, unbiased and trustworthy.  She served in the first Study Panel of Stanford’s 100 Year Study of AI (AI100, published in 2016) and is a Technical Advisor for MSR’s advisory committee on AI, ethics, and effects in engineering and research.

Shankar Narayan

Director of the Technology and Liberty Project, ACLU

As an artist/activist and civil rights attorney for the ACLU, Shankar Narayan merges his creative and analytical strengths to bring values of fairness, transparency, and accountability to surveillance and artificial intelligence technologies. His work seeks to lift the voices of marginalized groups. Narayan has helped pass landmark technology laws and campaigned for vendors to build tech in ethical and community-centric ways. He is also a 4Culture grant recipient for Claiming Space, a project to lift the voices of writers of color.