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Reflecting on the “AI & Ethics” Meet Up

Last week marked an important gathering at the “AI & Ethics” Meet Up, where leading experts in research and cybersecurity convened to discuss the significant and challenging aspects of integrating ethics into AI development. The event was particularly timely, coming just over a month after the introduction of the AI Act, setting the stage for insights about ethical implications of artificial intelligence.

Speakers from From left to right: François Goulette (ENSTA Paris), Le Nguyen Hoang (Calicarpa & Science4All), Michael Impink (HEC Paris) and Antonio Casilli (Télécom Paris).

Diverse Perspectives on AI and Ethics

During the Meet Up, we had the privilege of hearing from experts, each bringing a unique perspective to the forefront of the AI ethics dialogue. Their discussions covered different topics from the inclusivity of ethical discussions in AI to the practical impacts of AI in business and cybersecurity. Here’s a brief overview of the insights provided by each panelist:


Antonio A. Casilli addressed the extensive implications of AI ethics, focusing particularly on situations where manual labor undermines the perceived efficiencies of technological automation. He used Amazon Go as a prominent example to illustrate how these advanced systems sometimes rely heavily on human workers behind the scenes, contrary to the automation narrative. Casilli emphasized the critical need for designing AI systems that are not only technologically advanced but also genuinely beneficial and equitable for all stakeholders involved. He argued for a more thoughtful approach to AI development, one that ensures that technological progress contributes positively to society and does not exacerbate existing disparities or overlook human contributions.

Antonio C

Stephen Michael Impink explored the challenges AI startups face regarding ethical standards set by larger corporations. He noted that although startups are committed to ethical AI, they encounter the same ethical dilemmas as larger firms but with fewer resources to handle these issues. This imbalance makes it difficult for them to fully harness ethics as a competitive advantage without additional support and less regulatory pressure.

Impink emphasized that investors are keen to support startups that demonstrate genuine ethical commitments, such as removing biased data and employing diverse programmers. These substantive actions are rewarded by investors, who are quick to dismiss superficial measures like merely having an AI ethics policy. He argued for a supportive environment that reduces constraints on startups, allowing them to innovate ethically and stand out in the competitive AI landscape.

Lê Nguyên Hoang provided a detailed perspective on cybersecurity, highlighting the significant vulnerabilities in AI-driven systems, especially within heterogeneous recommender systems prone to malicious exploits. His insights underscore the risks these systems face in terms of data integrity and security.

Alongside his cybersecurity expertise, Lê Nguyên Hoang introduced his new book which explores the relationship between algorithms and democratic processes. He advocates for aligning AI technologies with democratic values to enhance trust and accountability in AI applications. The book proposes ways to integrate AI with democratic principles effectively, aiming to mitigate risks and maximize the beneficial impacts of AI on society.

Educational Insights

François Goulette shared his experiences from the educational front, talking about teaching AI and Ethics at the university level. He argued for the inclusion of ethics in the curriculum, advocating for courses that encourage open discussion and critical thinking rather than rigid, prescriptive teachings.

Future Directions

The discussions at the Meetup highlighted the complexities of AI ethics and the urgent need for strategic and thoughtful engagement across sectors. The enthusiasm and expertise displayed promise a vigorous ongoing dialogue in this area.

We are pleased to announce a follow-up Meetup this fall, which will focus on the legal dimensions of AI ethics. This upcoming event will continue to explore how best to balance innovation with ethical responsibility in the rapidly evolving AI landscape.

Stay tuned for more details, and thank you to all our participants for making this event a cornerstone for future discussions.