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In the Media: Carol J. Smith, AI Trust Lab Lead at CMU, “I don’t believe regulating technology makes sense”

In an interview with Lusa, Carol J. Smith, AI Division Trust Lab Lead and a Principal Research Scientist at Carnegie Mellon University,  expressed her perspective on regulating technology. While some argue for regulation, Carol emphasized the importance of prioritizing human rights and privacy in the development and deployment of technology.

Carol J. Smith was a keynote speaker, supported by CMU Portugal,  at ICSE 2024, the international conference on Software Engineering, that took place in Lisbon, from April 14-20.

Carol says artificial intelligence is “a more complex, more dynamic system with broader applications”, affecting great groups of people, but advocates for strengthening everything related to rights, privacy and data protection.

Concerning the misinformation, Carol Smith acknowledged the challenges people face in critically evaluating information, particularly in the face of external influence. She emphasized the importance of questioning the alignment of information with opinions and fostering critical thinking skills, especially in contexts like the scrutiny of US Elections., adding that: “people don’t need to know how algorithms work. If you want, fantastic, but what you need is to know how to find the facts, how to understand if something is false or not”, she emphasizes.

Carol expressed concerns about the lack of transparency in the practices of large organizations, particularly regarding data usage and potential risks to individuals’ privacy and security. She advocated for greater transparency to mitigate inadvertent harm caused by the mishandling of personal information within systems, stating that  “about how some of the large organizations are doing their work and what data sets they are using, potentially exposing people to harm inadvertently through the placement of your personal information in the systems”.

Looking ahead, Carol expressed hope for increased attention to ethics in technology over the next two years. She emphasized the importance of integrating ethics education into technological development to ensure responsible innovation and mitigate potential risks to individuals and society.