Human Rights and Empathic AI in the Digital Age – Sensum is Back at RightsCon

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We believe there's still time for the global community to get out ahead of the forthcoming generation of empathic technology with open dialogue about its ethical implications. On 11-13 June this year is RightsCon, the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age. Following our presence at their 2018 event, we have been honoured with a workshop slot this year, titled: 'Rights & Ethics When Technology Knows How You Feel'.

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Session Summary

A workshop to explore the ethical considerations and practices for technology that is ‘empathic’: able to measure, simulate or respond to emotions and other internal human states. Artificial intelligence systems that can determine your feelings based on signals such as facial expression, voice and internal physiology like heart rate, are now in major demand from tech companies, governments and others. The empathic interaction promised by these systems has great potential either to contribute to human flourishing, or apply subtle manipulations to exploit us.

Workshop participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the current tools and processes for measuring and responding to human states.
  • Analyse some scenarios for positive and negative outcomes.
  • Discuss human rights in the context of empathic artificial intelligence.
  • Discuss what practical measures can be taken to ensure ethical use of this technology.

Together we will consider issues including: algorithmic bias, emotional nudging, the role of emotions in decision-making, as well as practical applications within health, safety, entertainment and more.

Session Outcomes

Participants can expect to:

  • Gain a basic understanding of the science and technology underpinning empathic technology, and the current ecosystem surrounding it.
  • Discuss ideas and concerns on the ethical challenges of deploying these technologies, explored from such angles as legislature, regions, demographics, commercial interests, etc.

Ben Bland

Chief Operations Officer