Thanks Fahim for featuring some of our podcast episodes in your peice here. We've done one since that also may be of interest on this topic:

Kaggle is a great platform for learning, discussing and participating in data problems using Machine Learning to help solve them. A facinating component of Kaggle’s appeal is it’s competitions section which challenges Data Scientists and hobbyists to compete to solve a fun or pressing data problem. Some competitions come with exteremely interesting datasets: in the world of ML good datasets are like fuel to a furnace. However, not all the competitions have extensive explainations, preambles or reflections on the project and it’s use. …

Illustration by mcminim

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is trendy and alluring; it has recovered in interest after several AI winters and is now harnessing millions of dollars in investment, yet it is also deemed as one of humanities biggest existential threats. How can we make sense this? Lets take a quick step backwards and ask:

What exactly is it?

This is by no means an exhaustive history, nor is it a technical deep dive. This article is a collection of historical and cultural references, anecdotes collected from my 4 years working on the Machine Ethics Podcast and my own thoughts on the question at…

Illustration by Nicholas Willsher

We have come a long way in the last few hundred years. By all accountants we’ve done some astronomically impressive technological progress in the last 80. Of course I’m talking about Alan Turing, Grace Hopper, Tim Berners-lee, and the many many others (too many to list here) that have heralded the digital age.

Even if Moore’s law doesn’t continue to hold true, we seem to be on a trajectory, or at least if we are subscribing to techno-optimism, that is only increasing our technologies power to solve every problem given enough resources: time, compute, data etc…

We are left not…

Illustrations by Nicholas Willsher

First published 12 Sep 2016 here:

Every car, app and tech giant at the moment seems to be getting into autonomous vehicles. Tesla, Google, Facebook, Uber, Volvo to name but a few, each have road worthy tests up and running and are pinning a lot of their hopes on both legislation being inline with the new technology and public opinion. However, imagine the epic task of changing public perception of the cars if there was an autonomous vehicle pile-up for example. …

Illustrations by Nicholas Willsher

Article first published here: — 25 Sep 2016

The Trolly Problem is an interesting philosophy construct to show how humans react to different ethical circumstances. It can even be used as a way to interrogate both Kantian and Utilitarian ethical views by slightly changing the position of the illustrated participants or by changing the character of the persons in danger. As described in many recent articles1 concerning autonomous vehicles:

The Trolly Problem consists a train (Trolly) moving down it’s track towards 5 people working on the track. There is no way to slow the train or warn them, they…

ben byford

Machine Ethics Podcast. AI ethics. Web / game designer, technologist, artist, writer, cake eater.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store