I admit that I am new to the innovation and AI space but I am happy to tell you that like a small child, tech fascinates me! I am an innovator in the sustainability and higher education administrative space. I am an Assistant Dean at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. However, data ethics? I have been learning for the past year, reading and following leaders in the data ethics world, motivated by so many trespasses – data misuse, hacking, and other offenses – against the public trust.
Just as I was beginning to feel grounded in my knowledge, Shilpi connected with me and asked me to volunteer for the Ethics4NextGen AI Hackathon. Due to time constraints, I only participated as an Ambassador. I excitedly told everyone I knew about the event and created tweets and posts in support of the event. Then came the email asking me to speak on a panel on data ethics. I thought – I can do this.
“It was an awe-inspiring experience!“
The day came for the panel and WOW! I would be on a panel with some incredibly knowledgeable leaders in data use, design, and ethics. Leaders such as Michael Akinwumi who leads the AI/ML governance engineering efforts at Trust Science in Canada, Toju Duke, Responsible AI Program Manager at Google, and Dr. Rachele Hendricks-Sturrup, health science expert at The Future of Privacy Forum. What would I bring?
A confident, administrator’s view with some specific recommendations on how to communicate with the various stakeholders. Communications strategy and implementation are one of my fortes. Having a discussion that explored a variety of aspects of data and ethical issues was incredible! What made it incredible for me was not only the expertise on the panel but the generosity of spirit and shared goals of diversity, inclusion, and fairness. For me, it was the first time that I truly felt as if I was part of a diverse community of learners as well as experts. From this engagement, I made connections with the speakers that have resulted in further discussions and engagements.
“It was the first time that I truly felt as if I was part of a diverse community of learners as well as experts”
The experience resulted in me an intense desire to 1) keep ethics at the forefront of discussions and 2) inform and educate users – and we are all users of data – of their power and responsibility to know how they use their data and how their data is being used. This has carried on into my work with the Society for Healthcare Innovation (SHCI). There, I am part of several subcommittees innovating educational and experiential tech initiatives in healthcare. I am thrilled that both organizations are partnering to advance their missions and improve the lives of all people. This panel lit the fire for me. Thank you DataEthics4All!
Kudos to Shilpi and Susanna for all of their work and vision for what DataEthics4All is creating – a community of shared concerns, values, and solution-seeking individuals across disciplines and spaces – to affect change in data governance and impact in youth education.