Ali Ozkes is an Associate Professor of Economics at SKEMA since September 2022. He teaches Big Data Analysis and Statistics for Business Decisions. His research interests lie in the fields of behavioural game theory, social choice theory, experimental economics, text mining, and AI ethics.

You are hosting the 2nd Edition of EPURAI Workshop gathering a diverse panel of scholars in a variety of fields to combine both theory and practice to address AI ethics and public services. What are you planning?

Ali Ozkes: As artificial intelligence systems become increasingly ubiquitous in our daily lives, the importance of understanding and addressing AI ethics has never been more paramount. In this second edition of EPURAI Workshop, we are convening an eclectic mix of scholars from various disciplines to delve into the intricate nexus of artificial intelligence and ethics.

Addressing both theoretical perspectives and practical implications, our talks will cover a wide range of critical areas. We will explore the nuances of how humans perceive and interact with AI in real-world scenarios, challenging prevailing assumptions about whether AI should adhere to the same ethical principles as humans. The event will shed light on the trustworthiness of explainable AI, especially in sensitive domains like job advertisements, and enter the rigorous world of verifiable machine ethics. As AI continues to permeate academia and the public sector, we will discuss the collaborative potential to foster its responsible development.

Furthermore, the evolving role of universities as hubs of innovation and entrepreneurship in the AI domain will be scrutinised. Interpretability, a key facet of AI, will be dissected to understand its true essence and how the general public perceives it vis-à-vis accuracy. Our panel will also elucidate the double-edged sword of algorithms in human resource management, questioning whether they serve as unbiased tools or are manipulated in the game of system optimisation. As we venture into the uncharted territories of AI ethics, we will uncover the ‘unknown unknowns’ and discuss statistical implications in matching algorithms and the indispensable role of causality in ensuring fairness in machine learning. Through this holistic approach, we aim to foster informed dialogues that bridge the chasm between AI’s potential and its ethical application. The workshop also features two expert panels, where the major developments in AI and the ethical aspects will be covered, fed with questions from the audience present in the venue and the online audience.

The workshop is organised within the framework of the ANR-MRSEI co-funded project, EPURAI. What is EPURAI and how will it contribute to integrate AI and robotics into public services?

EPURAI – Ethical Public Robots and Artificial Intelligence was launched in September 2022. It aims to address the challenges posed by the integration of AI and robotics into public services by fostering active citizen participation both in the design of these systems (co-engineering) and in policy-making processes (co-governance). By cultivating an international collaboration network, EPURAI bridges the gap between different disciplines -economics, management, administrative sciences, psychology, computer science and mechanical engineering, offering a multi-dimensional approach to understanding and implementing ethical AI systems. For instance, EPURAI promotes the idea of citizens actively participating in the design process of AI systems for public services.

This ensures that the systems are not just technically sound but are also tailored to cater to the specific needs and values of the community they serve. Beyond the design process, EPURAI emphasises the importance of involving citizens in policymaking related to AI and robotics. This ensures that policies are inclusive, considerate of diverse viewpoints, and truly represent the interests of the community. EPURAI is also working on developing and assessing methods to effectively aggregate public opinions regarding the ethical aspects of AI and robotics in public services.

This is crucial to ensure that the voices of the community are accurately represented and considered. By integrating citizens’ contributions, the initiative ensures that the services are not just efficient but also ethically aligned with the values of the community.

What has EPURAI allowed you to do that you had not be able to do otherwise?

Within the EPURAI project, essentially an initiative funded and supported by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), we were able to bring together top experts in the field of AI Ethics from around the world. Some of these experts are authorities at multinational corporations involved in the highest-level decision-making processes, whereas others are scholars who are pioneering researchers in the forefront of the attempts to build a future with ethical AI. EPURAI enabled us with the funding and also the visibility it provided to build this consortium, which we are currently working towards advancing to the next level with new grants application and initiatives.

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