As concerns around artificial intelligence increase — from a shortage of skilled professionals to ethics — its impact has gone well beyond technology. Governments and professional bodies have realised that the reality of AI is no longer just about technology anymore. There are social, philosophical and ethical aspects of AI and machine learning that companies are grappling with in their everyday situations. There is a need for digital ethics to drive good governance, set a norm and implement change. In this article, we list down top professional bodies across the globe who are collaborating with the industry, academia, the startup community and the civil society to shape the development of AI for the benefit of humanity.
Swedish AI Society: The Swedish Artificial Intelligence Society, SAIS, is a society promoting research and application of Artificial Intelligence. The SIAS was founded in 1982 with an aim to promote AI interests in national and international contexts. The organisation regularly organises annual conferences, supports AI training courses, workshops and conferences in fields related to AI. Right now, SAIS has announced AI Master’s Thesis Award 2018 and is calling for nominations for best thesis in AI.
Association for Computing Machinery: This international society for computing has an India chapter as well which aims at increasing the CS and information technology community by facilitating high-level conferences, workshops, mentorship opportunities, serving as professional networks, encouraging students to take a higher level of interest in the computing. ACM-India is also at the forefront of hackathons to foster greater interest and participation from students.
European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence: Set up in 1982, the European Coordinating Committee for AI promotes research, study and applications of AI in Europe. With an aim to foster innovation and collaboration across Europe, EurAI, as it is known encompasses other member organisations from Spain, Catalon, Ukraine, France, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Latvia, Norway and other European nations. EurAI, is also known for organising one of the leading conferences in Europe along with a member organisation, known as ECAI. The body also organises Advanced courses in AI, known as ACAI, in a specialised domain. For example, it recently hosted an ACAI Summer School on Statistical Relational AI in Ferrara, Italy.
International Neural Network Society: Better known as INNS, this is a top organisation for professionals who are interested in a theoretical and computational understanding of the brain and applying the knowledge to develop new and more effective forms of machine intelligence. The non-profit, scientific organisation was founded in 1987 and has played a pivotal role in advancing the field of neural networks. Its conferences, events, journal, special interest groups (SIGs), Regional Chapters (RC) help push forward research in the field of neural networks.
International Society for Applied AI: This non-profit organisation publishes the International Journal of Applied Intelligence besides sponsoring the annual International Conference on Industrial, Engineering & Other Applications of Applied Intelligent Systems (IEA/AIE). Based in Texas, this non-profit organisation also works alongside other professional associations to improve application in research and improve the transfer of technology from the academic world to the industry.
The growing interest around AI and machine learning has sparked a debate on the ethics. While leading tech companies and industry leaders in AI research and development are working on integrating AI into their current suite of products and services. While tech companies R&D arms such as Microsoft Research, Facebook Research, Google Inc are busy moving innovation from lab to market, little is done to broaden the scope of research or encouraging more students and professionals. Non-profit organisations invest more deeply in building promising AI technologies and building AI technologies that are safe for the next generation.
In the future, AI will affect the nature and distribution of jobs and these non-profit bodies bring together a cross-section of industry leaders such as robotics, computing. Even though there has been recent AI wins in terms of self-driving cars, DeepMind’s Go victory, we still need to charge ahead for breakthroughs in a slew of public sector areas. An area of interest has been integrative AI approach — how to combine capabilities in image recognition, speech recognition, computer vision and natural language to explore tougher problems. For example, we are seeing a number of startups that use emerging technologies to tackle social problems in India. Case in point, Fasal an IoT startup gives ML-powered insights to farmers, giving rise to precision agriculture.
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Richa Bhatia is a seasoned journalist with six-years experience in reportage and news coverage and has had stints at Times of India and The Indian Express. She is an avid reader, mum to a feisty two-year-old and loves writing about the next-gen technology that is shaping our world.