UCLIC Research Seminar Series

UCLIC Research Seminar 15th of May: Ron Baecker (University of Toronto) on What society must require from AI
Ron Baecker, University of Toronto


UCLIC Research Seminar 15th of May: Ron Baecker (University of Toronto) on What society must require from AI


Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, especially machine learning (ML) programs, are now being employed or proposed for use in:
a) scanning résumés to weed out job applicants;
b) evaluating risks children face in their families;
c) informing judicial decisions about bail, sentencing, and parole;
d) diagnosing medical conditions, and not just classifying medical images;
e) identifying faces in the crowd for the police;
f) caring for seniors;
g) driving autonomous vehicles; and
h) guiding and directing drones in eliminating terrorists.

I will propose what society must require of algorithms that affect human welfare, health, life, and death. I shall discuss concepts including reliability, openness, transparency, explainability, trustworthiness, responsibility, accountability, empathy, compassion, fairness, and justice. The results will aid researchers in prioritizing problems for AI research, and will assist policy makers and citizens in determining when and how AI technology should be deployed.


Ron Baecker is Emeritus Professor of Computer Science and Bell Chair in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Toronto. He co-founded the Dynamic Graphics Project, and founded the university's Knowledge Media Design Institute and its Technologies for Aging Gracefully lab (TAGlab). Recently, he has been a research lead in AGE-WELL, Canada's technology and aging network. He has been named one of the 60 Pioneers of Computer Graphics by ACM SIGGRAPH, has been elected to the CHI (Computers and Human Interaction) Academy by ACM SIGCHI, has been named an ACM Fellow, and has been given the Canadian Human Computer Communications Society Achievement Award and a Canadian Digital Media Pioneer Award. He is the author of 5 books including Computers and Society: Modern Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2019) and is the founding Editor of the Synthesis Lectures on Assistive, Rehabilitative, and Health-preserving Technologies (Morgan & Claypool, Publisher).