Austin Group Joins Other Tech Efforts to Promote Responsible AI Use

Artificial intelligence is poised to infiltrate nearly all aspects of human life. Given this development, technologists are focusing on how to ensure the technology usage is governed by ethics.

“The general rule is that power begets responsibility,” says Michael Stewart, founder and CEO of Lucid AI, an AI startup in Austin. “If you’re bringing in a more powerful technology, which all startups hope to accomplish, you have to manage and contain that power.”

That’s why Stewart says he’s among the founding members of AI Global, a new initiative with the goal of promoting responsible development and deployment of AI technologies. Founders include the former general manager of IBM Watson and the head of artificial intelligence and machine learning at the World Economic Forum, as well as institutions and businesses such as the University of Texas at Austin and USAA, the insurance company serving members of the military.

AI Global has created an online marketplace—a sort of open-source “app store” for AI tools and software—based on an open interface developed by Austin AI startup CognitiveScale called Cognitive Agent Modeling and Execution Language, or CAMEL. (Manoj Saxena who formerly led IBM’s Watson efforts in Austin and is chairman of CognitiveScale, is a founding member of AI Global.) The idea is to allow startups to build AI innovations from these tools that have ethical guidelines set by the AI Global community.

“If we have a standard way of defining these skills, then we can have a standard way of measuring them and testing them to see if they exhibit fairness,” says Matt Sanchez, Cognitive Scale’s founder and CTO, and a member of AI Global.

The Austin-based organization has joined a growing movement in the technology sector to take a hard look at the societal and ethical issues raised by machines mimicking human capabilities. The Partnership on AI was launched … Next Page »

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Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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