Workshop: HCAI@NeurIPS 2022, Human Centered AI

Tensions Between the Proxies of Human Values in AI

Daniel Nissani · Teresa Datta · John Dickerson · Max Cembalest · Akash Khanna · Haley Massa

Keywords: [ XAI ] [ human values ] [ transparency ] [ Fairness ] [ privacy ]


Motivated by mitigating potentially harmful impacts of technologies, the AI community has formulated and accepted mathematical definitions for certain pillars of accountability: e.g. privacy, fairness, and model transparency. Yet, we argue this is fundamentally misguided because these definitions are imperfect, siloed constructions of the human values they hope to proxy, while giving the guise that those values are sufficiently embedded in our technologies. Under popularized techniques, tensions arise when practitioners attempt to achieve each pillar of fairness, privacy, and transparency in isolation or simultaneously. In this position paper, we argue that the AI community needs to consider alternative formulations of these pillars based on the context in which technology is situated. By leaning on sociotechnical systems research, we can formulate more compatible, domain-specific definitions of our human values for building more ethical systems.

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