Lauren Maffeo, an analyst at GetApp, who focuses on the impact of emerging tech on small businesses.

Ethics has become an important topic in the context of artificial intelligence. How much trust should we have in the reliability of AI systems? Can we rely on AI systems to act ethically? There are some notorious examples of bad decisions and bad behavior of some AI systems. For example, there have been problems with computer vision systems mis-classifying people with dark skin, and some chatbots have generated hate speech. (U.S. 1, March 13, 2019.)

Many AI systems are guided by the choice of “training data” that may be used in the initial setup of the system. If we are not careful about the data that is used to train AI systems, we might be training these systems to be unethical to the detriment of their users and the general public.

The Princeton ACM/IEEE will host a panel on AI and ethics with four experts in the field. The free meeting will take place Thursday, January 16, at 8 p.m. at the small auditorium of the computer science building at Princeton University. For more information, visit or call 908-285-1066.

The panel will begin with four short talks. Robert Krovetz will provide an overview and focus on how these issues relate to natural language processing. Rebecca Mercuri will talk about AI and elections, Lauren Maffeo will discuss bias in AI datasets, and Casimir Kulikowski will address AI and clinical responsibility. The short talks will be followed by discussion among the panelists and with the audience.

Krovetz is president of Lexical Research, a company doing research and development in natural language processing. Krovetz managed and developed a successful technology transfer project for the NEC Research Institute. He was a senior research scientist at Ask Jeeves and principal natural language engineer at Code­Ryte. Krovetz received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Mercuri is well recognized for her many decades of research and advocacy in election technology. She and her company, Notable Software, provide forensic investigations and expert witness services, including for contested elections, criminal defense, and intellectual property matters. Mercuri received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

Maffeo is an analyst at GetApp, where she explores the impact of emerging tech like AI and blockchain on small and midsize business owners. She has worked in the past as a freelance journalist covering tech trends for the Guardian and the Next Web from London. She has also helped organize Women Startup Challenge Europe, which was the continent’s largest venture capital competition for women-led startups. She holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and has studied the effects of artificial intelligence in business at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Casimir Kulikowski is a professor of computer science at Rutgers. He has worked in pattern recognition, AI and expert systems, and biomedical and health informatics for 50 years. He is a graduate of Yale and the University of Hawaii.

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