Women in AI: Claire Leibowicz, AI and media integrity professional at PAI


To give AI-focused girls teachers and others their well-deserved — and overdue — time within the highlight, TechCrunch is launching a sequence of interviews specializing in outstanding girls who’ve contributed to the AI revolution. We’ll publish a number of items all year long because the AI increase continues, highlighting key work that always goes unrecognized. Read extra profiles right here.

Claire Leibowicz is the top of the AI and media integrity program on the Partnership on AI (PAI), the trade group backed by Amazon, Meta, Google, Microsoft and others dedicated to the “responsible” deployment of AI tech. She additionally oversees PAI’s AI and media integrity steering committee.

In 2021, Leibowicz was a journalism fellow at Tablet Magazine, and in 2022, she was a fellow at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center targeted on AI governance. Leibowicz — who holds a BA in psychology and pc science from Harvard and a grasp’s diploma from Oxford — has suggested firms, governments and nonprofit organizations on AI governance, generative media and digital info.


Briefly, how did you get your begin in AI? What attracted you to the sphere?

It could seem paradoxical, however I got here to the AI area from an curiosity in human habits. I grew up in New York, and I used to be all the time captivated by the numerous methods individuals there work together and the way such a various society takes form. I used to be inquisitive about big questions that have an effect on reality and justice, like how will we select to belief others? What prompts intergroup battle? Why do individuals imagine sure issues to be true and never others? I began out exploring these questions in my tutorial life by way of cognitive science analysis, and I shortly realized that know-how was affecting the solutions to those questions. I additionally discovered it intriguing how synthetic intelligence could possibly be a metaphor for human intelligence.

That introduced me into pc science lecture rooms the place college — I’ve to shout out Professor Barbara Grosz, who’s a trailblazer in pure language processing, and Professor Jim Waldo, who blended his philosophy and pc science background — underscored the significance of filling their lecture rooms with non-computer science and -engineering majors to give attention to the social impression of applied sciences, together with AI. And this was earlier than “AI ethics” was a definite and fashionable area. They made clear that, whereas technical understanding is helpful, know-how impacts huge realms together with geopolitics, economics, social engagement and extra, thereby requiring individuals from many disciplinary backgrounds to weigh in on seemingly technological questions.

Whether you’re an educator interested by how generative AI instruments have an effect on pedagogy, a museum curator experimenting with a predictive route for an exhibit or a physician investigating new picture detection strategies for studying lab experiences, AI can impression your area. This actuality, that AI touches many domains, intrigued me: there was mental selection inherent to working within the AI area, and this introduced with it an opportunity to impression many sides of society.

What work are you most pleased with (within the AI area)?

I’m pleased with the work in AI that brings disparate views collectively in a stunning and action-oriented approach — that not solely accommodates, however encourages, disagreement. I joined the PAI because the group’s second employees member six years in the past, and sensed instantly the group was trailblazing in its dedication to various views. PAI noticed such work as an important prerequisite to AI governance that mitigates hurt and results in sensible adoption and impression within the AI area. This has confirmed true, and I’ve been heartened to assist form PAI’s embrace of multidisciplinarity and watch the establishment develop alongside the AI area.

Our work on artificial media over the previous six years began effectively earlier than generative AI turned a part of the general public consciousness, and exemplifies the chances of multistakeholder AI governance. In 2020, we labored with 9 completely different organizations from civil society, trade and media to form Facebook’s Deepfake Detection Challenge, a machine studying competitors for constructing fashions to detect AI-generated media. These exterior views helped form the equity and objectives of the profitable fashions — exhibiting how human rights consultants and journalists can contribute to a seemingly technical query like deepfake detection. Last yr, we revealed a normative set of steering on accountable artificial media — PAI’s Responsible Practices for Synthetic Media — that now has 18 supporters from extraordinarily completely different backgrounds, starting from OpenAI to TikTook to Code for Africa, Bumble, BBC and WITNESS. Being capable of put pen to paper on actionable steering that’s knowledgeable by technical and social realities is one factor, nevertheless it’s one other to really get institutional help. In this case, establishments dedicated to offering transparency experiences about how they navigate the artificial media area. AI initiatives that function tangible steering, and present tips on how to implement that steering throughout establishments, are a few of the most significant to me.

How do you navigate the challenges of the male-dominated tech trade, and, by extension, the male-dominated AI trade?

I’ve had each fantastic female and male mentors all through my profession. Finding individuals who concurrently help and problem me is vital to any development I’ve skilled. I discover that specializing in shared pursuits and discussing the questions that animate the sphere of AI can carry individuals with completely different backgrounds and views collectively. Interestingly, PAI’s staff is made up of greater than half girls, and most of the organizations engaged on AI and society or accountable AI questions have many ladies on employees. This is usually in distinction to these engaged on engineering and AI analysis groups, and is a step in the best path for illustration within the AI ecosystem.

What recommendation would you give to girls searching for to enter the AI area?

As I touched on within the earlier query, a few of the primarily male-dominated areas inside AI that I’ve encountered have additionally been these which can be essentially the most technical. While we must always not prioritize technical acumen over different types of literacy within the AI area, I’ve discovered that having technical coaching has been a boon to each my confidence, and effectiveness, in such areas. We want equal illustration in technical roles and an openness to the experience of oldsters who’re consultants in different fields like civil rights and politics which have extra balanced illustration. At the identical time, equipping extra girls with technical literacy is vital to balancing illustration within the AI area.

I’ve additionally discovered it enormously significant to attach with girls within the AI area who’ve navigated balancing household {and professional} life. Finding position fashions to speak to about huge questions associated to profession and parenthood — and a few of the distinctive challenges girls nonetheless face at work — has made me really feel higher geared up to deal with some these challenges as they come up.

What are a few of the most urgent points going through AI because it evolves?

The questions of reality and belief on-line — and offline — turn out to be more and more difficult as AI evolves. As content material starting from pictures to movies to textual content will be AI-generated or modified, is seeing nonetheless believing? How can we depend on proof if paperwork can simply and realistically be doctored? Can we now have human-only areas on-line if it’s extraordinarily straightforward to mimic an actual individual? How will we navigate the tradeoffs that AI presents between free expression and the chance that AI methods could cause hurt? More broadly, how will we guarantee the data setting is just not solely formed by a choose few firms and people working for them however incorporates the views of stakeholders from all over the world, together with the general public?

Alongside these particular questions, PAI has been concerned in different sides of AI and society, together with how we take into account equity and bias in an period of algorithmic determination making, how labor impacts and is impacted by AI, tips on how to navigate accountable deployment of AI methods and even tips on how to make AI methods extra reflective of myriad views. At a structural stage, we should take into account how AI governance can navigate huge tradeoffs by incorporating diversified views.

What are some points AI customers ought to concentrate on?

First, AI customers ought to know that if one thing sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

The generative AI increase over the previous yr has, after all, mirrored huge ingenuity and innovation, nevertheless it has additionally led to public messaging round AI that’s usually hyperbolic and inaccurate.

AI customers must also perceive that AI is just not revolutionary, however exacerbating and augmenting current issues and alternatives. This doesn’t imply they need to take AI much less significantly, however slightly use this data as a useful basis for navigating an more and more AI-infused world. For instance, in case you are involved about the truth that individuals may mis-contextualize a video earlier than an election by altering the caption, try to be involved concerning the pace and scale at which they’ll mislead utilizing deepfake know-how. If you might be involved about using surveillance within the office, you must also take into account how AI will make such surveillance simpler and extra pervasive. Maintaining a wholesome skepticism concerning the novelty of AI issues, whereas additionally being sincere about what’s distinct concerning the present second, is a useful body for customers to carry to their encounters with AI.

What is one of the best ways to responsibly construct AI?

Responsibly constructing AI requires us to broaden our notion of who performs a job in “building” AI. Of course, influencing know-how firms and social media platforms is a key technique to have an effect on the impression of AI methods, and these establishments are important to responsibly constructing know-how. At the identical time, we should acknowledge how various establishments from throughout civil society, trade, media, academia and the general public should proceed to be concerned to construct accountable AI that serves the general public curiosity.

Take, for instance, the accountable improvement and deployment of artificial media.

While know-how firms may be involved about their duty when navigating how an artificial video can affect customers earlier than an election, journalists could also be fearful about imposters creating artificial movies that purport to come back from their trusted information model. Human rights defenders may take into account duty associated to how AI-generated media reduces the impression of movies as proof of abuses. And artists may be excited by the chance to specific themselves by way of generative media, whereas additionally caring about how their creations may be leveraged with out their consent to coach AI fashions that produce new media. These various concerns present how important it’s to contain completely different stakeholders in initiatives and efforts to responsibly construct AI, and the way myriad establishments are affected by — and affecting — the way in which AI is built-in into society.

How can traders higher push for accountable AI?

Years in the past, I heard DJ Patil, the previous chief knowledge scientist within the White House, describe a revision to the pervasive “move fast and break things” mantra of the early social media period that has caught with me. He recommended the sphere “move purposefully and fix things.”

I beloved this as a result of it didn’t suggest stagnation or an abandonment of innovation, however intentionality and the chance that one may innovate whereas embracing duty. Investors ought to assist induce this mentality — permitting extra time and area for his or her portfolio firms to bake in accountable AI practices with out stifling progress. Oftentimes, establishments describe restricted time and tight deadlines because the limiting issue for doing the “right” factor, and traders could be a main catalyst for altering this dynamic.

The extra I’ve labored in AI, the extra I’ve discovered myself grappling with deeply humanistic questions. And these questions require all of us to reply them.


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