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Applications of emerging technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are expanding in environmental, health, and social science, and researchers must be informed, not only of these tools, but of practical and ethical considerations for their use. SSEHRI joins an interdisciplinary group of scholars in hosting a webinar series, “AI/ML Fairness and Bias with Applications to Environmental Justice” about emerging technologies and their ethical implications. These webinars are part of an NIEHS-funded project that aims to address a shortage of AI/ML-trained researchers and introduce scientists to data ethics principles. This series is led by Dr. Phil Brown and SSEHRI postdoc Kim Garrett.

Webinar 1: Intro to Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Creating an Ethics Ecosystem, and Applications to Environmental Science

The inaugural webinar features introductions to AI/ML, big data, and ethical frameworks for addressing technology and data in research. We also hear from two researchers using AI and ML in the field, sharing their perspectives on data justice, exposure science, and their connections to social justice.

This session features:

  • Justin Manjourides, Northeastern University Department of Health Sciences, OHDSI Center, and the Roux Institute
  • John Basl, Northeastern University Department of Philosophy and Religion, Northeastern Ethics Institute
  • Lourdes Vera, University of Buffalo Department of Sociology
  • Abhishek Viswanathan, University of Pittsburgh School of Computer and Information Science

Webinar 2: Datafying Justice and Accessibility in Design

This session highlights the need for ethical approaches to data and technology through the lens of the philosophy of science and disability justice. Our speakers share their research and lived experience with human-technology interaction and provide insight into making science and technology accessible for all.

This session features:

  • Lorena Jaume-Palasì, The Ethical Tech Society
  • Emily Ackerman, Harvard Medical School

Additional Resources

Additional reading and current events on AI/ML, human and environmental health research, and social justice.

NIH Launches Bridge2AI Program to Expand the use of AI in Biomedical and Behavioral Research

Updated October 2022

“The National Institutes of Health will invest $130 million over four years, pending the availability of funds, to accelerate the widespread use of artificial intelligence (AI) by the biomedical and behavioral research communities. The NIH Common Fund’s Bridge to Artificial Intelligence (Bridge2AI) program is assembling team members from diverse disciplines and backgrounds to generate tools, resources, and richly detailed data that are responsive to AI approaches. At the same time, the program will ensure its tools and data do not perpetuate inequities or ethical problems that may occur during data collection and analysis.” See full article here.

US Artificial Intelligence Bill of Rights

Updated October 2022
The White House: Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights (10/4/2022)
The Associated Press: White House unveils artificial intelligence ‘bill of rights’ (10/4/2022)
Wired: Biden’s AI Bill of Rights is Toothless Against Big Tech (10/4/2022)

National Science Foundation’s Open Knowledge Network Roadmap

Updated September 2022

The NSF’s Open Knowledge Network Roadmap report “outlines a strategy for establishing an open and accessible national resource to power 21st century data science and next-generation artificial intelligence. Establishing such a knowledge infrastructure would integrate the diverse data needed to sustain strong economic growth, expand opportunities to engage in data analysis, and address complex national challenges such as climate change, misinformation, disruptions from pandemics, economic equity and diversity.”(1)