I was hired as the Interim CEO of a small tech startup that is developing a cloud-based SaaS platform employing a predictive algorithm (using a machine learning approach) for preventing baggage mishandling during airline transit. A major airline has funded our project, which aims to use accessible and bias-free technology to improve the human experience of travel. As the CEO, my mission is to promote an organizational culture of ethical entrepreneurship. I collaborate closely with a diverse team of PhDs with backgrounds in data science and engineering. My plan is to see this company, AviAI Inc., through the 2021-2022 accelerator cycle before returning to academia in Fall 2022.
For the 2020 Winter Quarter, Michael Nekrasov (CS, PhD) and I co-taught a five week course, titled Computer Ethics: Reshaping Society Through Technology, in collaboration with the School for Scientific Thought (SST).
Computers make our lives easier, and, as a result, we include them in every aspect of our lives. We use them to communicate with our friends and families, to seek out entertainment, to find jobs, and for many other reasons. Because we involve computers in every aspect of our lives, we also share a great deal of information with the companies that build technology. What we share and how this highly tailored personal information is used is a topic of continuous concern and debate.
In this class we explore what these algorithms “know” about us and how they gather data. This class provides an overview of active areas of computer science including: Big Data, Machine Learning, Networking, Security, and Human Computer Interaction. Over 5 classes, we look at how technology and society interact. The class provides the skills for understanding how the technologies work as well as philosophical skills for critically engaging with these technologies.
The UC Humanities Research Institute Awarded UCR the $10,000.00 Graduate Student Professionalization Workshop Grant in support of the Program for Humanities Careers in Science History, Policy, and Communication [H-SCHIP]. Recently, I was invited to participate as an H-SCHIP coordinator to assist in developing proposals for publicly engaged humanities projects.
My own project, the H-SCHIP Digital Ethics Project – developed in collaboration with Chelsea Oei Kern (UCLA), aims to create toolkits for ethical engagement with technology.