Unpacking the Expressed Consequences of AI Research in Broader Impact Statements

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The computer science research community and the broader public have become increasingly aware of negative consequences of algorithmic systems. In response, the top-tier Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) conference for machine learning and artificial intelligence research required that authors include a statement of broader impact to reflect on potential positive and negative consequences of their work. We present the results of a qualitative thematic analysis of a sample of statements written for the 2020 conference. The themes we identify broadly fall into categories related to how consequences are expressed (e.g., valence, specificity, uncertainty), areas of impacts expressed (e.g., bias, the environment, labor, privacy), and researchers' recommendations for mitigating negative consequences in the future. In light of our results, we offer perspectives on how the broader impact statement can be implemented in future iterations to better align with potential goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIES 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages795-806
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450384735
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 21 2021
Event4th AAAI/ACM Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Society, AIES 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: May 19 2021May 21 2021

Publication series

NameAIES 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society

Conference

Conference4th AAAI/ACM Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Society, AIES 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period5/19/215/21/21

Keywords

  • ai ethics
  • anticipatory governance
  • broader impacts
  • thematic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence

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