Icarus Salon
The Ethics of Emerging Technology


AI Ethics Observatory

Every day, new initiatives are announced in the field of artificial intelligence. There is no shortage of progress in institutional, academic, or commercial enterprises. Attempting to keep pace with this rapidly evolving field is ethical work on many topics: governance, labor, criminal justice, human rights, safety, control, democratization, and more. Multidisciplinary dialogue that include the public and creative fields is vital so that collaborative outcomes can be achieved.

Icarus Salon will be launching an AI Ethics Observatory to provide a counter-narrative to the dominant public policy discussions. Building upon our recent governance research, Fluxus Landscape: A Map of AI Ethics and Governance, we will create a series of public projects that reveal hidden narratives embedded in organizational relationships, their funding channels, and gaps and imbalances caused by different perspectives and economic agendas with the following goals:

  • Centralize and organize information on AI ethics so it is accessible and useful

  • Help institutions aid and not abet each other

  • Enrich AI dialogue by pushing boundaries of who is included in the field of AI ethics and governance.

  • Empower technology creators and users to take ethical positions

We are actively looking for partnerships.



The AI Ethics Observatory will be a digital hub with an artist’s approach to organizing and centralizing the AI ethics and governance ecosystem. It is very difficult for those following this landscape to keep up with changing news and to have an overall understanding with how newer institutions are collaborating with governing organizations or even the size of the field of AI ethics and governance. Traditional indexing methods fall short in delivering this information in a way that is approachable by both policymakers unfamiliar with technical concepts and also by the communities who are most likely to be impacted by these technologies.


The Observatory will increase our understanding of AI policy discourse through qualitative analysis, visualizations of trends and patterns, and storytelling, in order to engage the public and assist policymakers, industry leaders, and civil society in the U.S. and abroad. It will be a useful addition to our current global toolkits to aid strategic thinking, planning, and policy implementation in AI governance that will center multidisciplinary research. Icarus Salon will host public outreach events and roundtables.


The Observatory’s focus will be on AI ethics stakeholders who are contributing to preventing societal harm but will also include relevant organizations from other areas such as data science ethics, internet policy centers, and others. The Observatory will promote and amplify the work communities and international organizations not usually included in the AI ethics dialogue such as activist and advocacy organizations, grassroots movements, art projects, conferences and events and unique civil society initiatives. Special emphasis will be placed on groups working in the Global South.