Notre Dame-IBM Tech Ethics Lab Announces Projects Recommended for CFP Funding

Author: Tech Ethics Lab

the text "Notre Dame-IBM Tech Ethics Lab Call for Proposals" above a drawing of a megaphone and the subheading "Awards Announcement"

On Friday, Jan. 28, the Notre Dame-IBM Tech Ethics Lab announced more than two dozen projects recommended for funding totaling over $500,000. The projects were submitted in response to the lab’s initial Call for Proposals (CFP).

The call sought proposals focused on at least one of six core themes related to the ethics of: scale, automation, identification, prediction, persuasion, and adoption. More than 100 proposals were received, representing every continent but Antarctica, with North America, Africa, and Europe leading the way.

“We are humbled by the robust response to our inaugural Call for Proposals from applicants from every corner of the globe,” said Elizabeth Renieris, the lab’s founding director. “We are happy to provide funding to the awarded projects, confident they will provide valuable insights into these critical themes in technology ethics, and look forward to sharing those learnings with the lab’s wider community.”

“New technologies are unlocking insights and innovative solutions with potential to solve some of society’s biggest challenges, but ethics and responsibility must remain at the heart of how these technologies are built and deployed," said Betsy Greytok, IBM Vice President, Ethics & Policy, and co-director of the Notre Dame-IBM Tech Ethics Lab. "We look forward to the work these projects will deliver and are confident they will advance global thinking and best practices for how organizations can maintain public trust in these new solutions.”

Projects will be undertaken and completed this year, and final deliverables will be accessible through the lab’s website.

The titles of the proposals recommended for funding are included below along with the names of the awardees and brief descriptions of the planned deliverables.

Artificial Justice

Awardees: Halsey Burgund (MIT Open Documentary Lab), Sarah Newman (Harvard University), Jessica Silbey (Boston University)

Deliverables: Interactive website and short article that imagine what it would be like if U.S. Supreme Court decisions were handed down by natural language processing models

Assessing Africa’s Policy Readiness Towards Responsible Artificial Intelligence

Awardee: Erick Otieno (Reallink Ltd.)

Deliverables: Desktop analysis, interviews, micro-ethnography, stakeholder workshops, and policy brief exploring understanding of responsible AI among the African population

An Audit for Children-Nudging: Games and Social Media

Awardees: Marianna Ganapini (Union College), Enrico Panai (ForHumanity)

Deliverable: Audit framework for evaluating the ethical use of nudging AI technologies in gaming and social media aimed at children, including best practices and risk-mitigation strategies

Comparative Analysis of Risks and Benefits of Digital Identification Systems in DRC, Gabon, Cameroon and Republic of Congo

Awardees: Divine Enkando (Data Rights Lab), Narcisse Mbunzama (Digital Security Group)

Deliverables: Report and workshops on the risks and benefits of digital ID systems used in four Central African countries, specifically focused on activists, journalists, and NGO workers in a high-risk environment

The Complete Picture Project

Awardees: Devangana Khokhar (Outsight International), Dan McClure (Outsight International), Denise Soesilo (Outsight International)

Deliverables: Open-source test dataset and roadmap that can be used to detect algorithmic gender biases

Developing Model Legislation for the Operationalization of Information Fiduciaries for AI Governance

Awardees: Josh Lee (ETPL.Asia), Lenon Ong (ETPL.Asia), Elizaveta Shesterneva (ETPL.Asia)

Deliverables: Roundtable sessions, model legislation, and a policy paper identifying scope for information fiduciaries in the context of AI

Diagnosis and Mitigation of Bias from Latin America Towards the Construction of Tools and a Framework for Latin American Ethics in AI

Awardees: Luciana Benotti (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba), Beatriz Busaniche (Universidad de Buenos Aires), María Lucía Gonzalez Dominguez (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba)

Deliverables: Techniques, survey, and best practices for detecting, preventing, and mitigating biases in Spanish-language natural language processing models

Duty of Data Loyalty Model Legislation

Awardees: Woodrow Hartzog (Northeastern University), G.S. Hans (Vanderbilt University), Neil Richards (Washington University in St. Louis)

Deliverable: Model U.S. federal and state legislation that would impose a duty of data loyalty on companies holding human information

Ethical Issues Associated With Pervasive Eye-Tracking 

Awardees: Shaun Foster (Rochester Institute of Technology), Evan Selinger (Rochester Institute of Technology)

Deliverables: Virtual reality (VR) scenarios for use with eye-tracking hardware and a public service video raising awareness of the dangers of gaze-tracking in VR environments

The Ethical Radicals

Awardee: Freyja Van den Boom (Bournemouth University)

Deliverables: Tool and ethical guidelines for adopting and monitoring fair automated decision-making tools for the insurance industry

Ethics Experiment on Designing Character for AI

Awardees: Charles Ikem (PolicyLab Africa), Sudha Jamthe (Stanford University)

Deliverables: White paper and webinar focused on a framework for building AI with characteristics, or “personality traits,” of trust, fairness, and transparency 

Examining Dark Patterns in Apps Used by Adolescents

Awardee: Sundaraparipurnan Narayanan (Independent Researcher)

Deliverables: Workshop and white paper examining the impact of digital nudging in mobile apps used by adolescents

Explainable and Auditable AI in the Nexus of Climate Change and Food Security

Awardees: Winston Ojenge (African Centre for Technology Studies), Catherine Kilelu (African Centre for Technology Studies), Joel Onyango (African Centre for Technology Studies)

Deliverables: Framework and policy brief for the use of ML/AI tools to monitor how climate change influences crop yields in Kenya, including recommendations for governing data

Exploring Local Post-Hoc Explanation Methods in Tax-Related AI Systems

Awardees: Marco Almada (European University Institute), Błażej Kuźniacki (University of Amsterdam), Kamil Tylinski (Mishcon de Reya LLP)

Deliverable: White paper focused on designing transparent AI systems to help taxpayers understand AI tax-administration decisions, such as risk profiling and determinations of fraud

A Framework for Identification, Review, and Resolution of Ethical Issues in Healthcare Machine Learning Projects

Awardees: Moses Thiga (Kabarak University), Pamela Kimeto (Kabarak University),  Jeremiah Fadugba (University of Ibadan)

Deliverables: Workshops and guidelines for machine learning practitioners working on healthcare ML solutions to encourage consideration of bioethics concerns

From Ethical Models to Good Systems: A Data Labeling Service for AI Ethics

Awardees: Andrew Brozek (Craftinity), Thomas Gilbert (Cornell Tech), Megan Welle (Daios)

Deliverable: White paper outlining a service for monitoring how training data translates to AI model outputs and enabling recognition and correction of errors

Human-Beneficial Decision-Making by Means of Augmented Reality Serious Gaming

Awardee: Ida Romana Helena Rust (University of Twente)

Deliverable: White paper or product design principles exploring how serious gaming elements in artificial reality can help to distinguish independently made decisions from those nudged or imposed by smart technologies

Identifying Common Typologies of Harm in Forecasting Systems

Awardees: Nathaniel Raymond (Yale University), Bahman Rostami-Tabar (Cardiff University)

Deliverable: White paper on potential harms of forecasting technologies and recommendations to address them

Increasing Venture Capital Investment in Ethical Tech

Awardees: Ravit Dotan (University of Pittsburgh), Leehe Skuler (Global Impact Tech Alliance – GITA)

Deliverables: A framework for VC stakeholders seeking to incorporate ethical AI criteria in investment strategies, accelerating the adoption of ethical AI standards across the tech industry

InterpretMe 2.0: A Web Tool for Community-Centered Interpretation of Social Media Posts

Awardees: Siva Mathiyazhagan (Columbia University), Desmond Patton (Columbia University)

Deliverables: Web-based tool, article, and design principles for promoting a community-centered response to possible biases against and harms to vulnerable communities on social media

A Manual of Ethical UX Design Principles

Awardees: Shyam Krishnakumar (Pranava Institute), Titiksha Vashist (Pranava Institute)

Deliverable: Ethical framework for identifying design choices that promote dark patterns and best practices to avoid them 

Promoting Human Values in the Design, Development, and Policies of Brain-Machine Interfaces

Awardees: Margot Hanley (Cornell Tech), Karen Levy (Cornell University), Guy Wilson (Stanford University)

Deliverables: White paper and industry/government/civil society roundtables on policy recommendations for brain-machine interfaces

A Responsible Development Biometric Deployment Handbook

Awardees: James Eaton-Lee (Simprints), Alexandra Grigore (Simprints), Stephen Taylor (Simprints)

Deliverables: Handbook, presentations, and webinar for responsibly using biometric technologies in international development contexts

Reversing the Mirror: Toward Ethical, Community-Centric Biometric Governance

Awardees: Shankar Narayan (Independent Researcher), Nandini Ranganathan (CETI, Portland State University), Hanson Hosein (HRH Media Group LLC)

Deliverables: Convening, toolkit, literature review, and white paper connecting community members potentially impacted by biometric surveillance technologies with regulators, lawmakers, and technology producers to create a community-centered agenda for biometric technologies

Solving Ethical Challenges in the Design of Open-Source Environments: Scaling Urban Mapping Models in View of the Locus Charter

Awardees: Lorraine Oliveira (Independent Researcher), Julio Pedrassoli (MapBiomas Project), Monika Kuffer (University of Twente)

Deliverables: Open-source script and metadata on addressing data misuse and bias when geospatially mapping deprived areas in low-to-middle-income urban environments

What Really Works? A Study of the Effectiveness of AI Ethical Risk-Mitigation Initiatives

Awardees: Ali Hasan (BABL AI), Ben Lange (BABL AI), Shea Brown (BABL AI)

Deliverables: Dashboard and best practices report focusing on the effectiveness of various AI ethical risk-mitigation initiatives