Icarus Salon aims to broaden and bring together the technology ethics community. It functions as a creative hybrid between an art production company and research think tank. Main Projects include:
The initiative follows the rich tradition of societal criticism inspired by Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (c.1555). The painting is interpreted through actions in the lineage of Fluxus and Situationist art that advocate for ethics in emerging technology. Activism and research are positioned as contemporary art through events and projects that compose conceptual landscapes.
Şerife Wong (b. 1978) is a Turkish Hawaiian artist and AI ethics advocate. In 2018, she founded Icarus Salon, an initiative to enrich the dialogue on the ethics of emerging technology. She created the Impact Residency at Autodesk’s Pier 9 Technology Center (2015-2018) and worked with over 100 leading creative technologists exploring artificial intelligence, robotics, AR/VR, engineering, architecture 3D & 4D printing, and advanced manufacturing. Şerife Wong has also worked on the development team at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
As an artist represented by I-20 Gallery, she has had solo art exhibits in New York, Vienna, and Mexico City, and exhibited internationally at venues such as Art Basel Miami, Shanghai Art Fair, FIAC Paris, ARCO Madrid, and Art Cologne. In 2019, she was a jury member at Ars Electronica for STARTS, the grand prize of the European Commission honoring Innovation in Technology, Industry and Society stimulated by the Arts and was on the scientific advisory panel for USAID on the future use of AI to address humanitarian challenges. She recently partnered with Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University to launch a map of 500 AI ethics and governance organizations.
Artist Website: sherrying.com
What’s missing in the field of AI and society?
There are large numbers of institutions, both private and public, and researchers around the globe working on reducing AI ‘s harmful impacts on society. Currently, it takes time and effort to stay informed and connect with aligned groups. For individuals working on projects and newcomers to the field, this time and effort can slow down projects and cripple progress. Additionally, raising questions on ethics by both employees of a company implementing algorithmic tools or researchers pioneering new areas can be very isolating, leading to lost opportunities and even regression. Developers who grow concerned about progress made in their fields that may have harmful impacts may find it difficult to search through ethical resources or to find supportive communities to help them speak up. These technologies affect everyone, and we must include a larger variety of people from every background in order to establish new policies and a new system of technological innovation where society has a voice.
When it comes to AI, frameworks for managing societal impact must develop quickly. We can not work in silos. We must be able to ascertain our strengths and weaknesses as an ecosystem in order to establish collaborative power and bring resources to areas that receive less attention. It’s not only helpful, but it is also absolutely vital that we work together if we want AI and emerging technology to benefit all people, not just the privileged. The risks, if we do not, are much too great. Already algorithmic systems are implemented in every area of our daily lives. People are denied jobs, parole, travel, and more based on computer decisions, without fairness, transparency, or accountability. Emerging technologies have no clear policies surrounding their regulation and until they do, it is a race to the bottom. AI researchers issue strong warnings against the use of autonomous weapons, but it is uncertain if these warnings will be heeded by governments in the race for AI dominance. These rapidly developing tools present a grim future outlook on their impact on society. Icarus Salon’s map project will provide an overview of what, where and who is doing work in AI ethics and governance that will be inclusive in both the information it presents and the audience it serves. We must all work together.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Autodesk, Pier 9
Pine River Capital Management
Artist at I-20 Gallery
Have trouble following the latest news in AI? Check out my list of nearly 300 people and institutions most likely to post about AI ethics; list is frequently maintained. https://twitter.com/sherrying/lists/ethical-ai