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      Licensing AI Engineers

      news.movim.eu / Schneier · Thursday, 21 March - 16:07 · 1 minute

    The debate over professionalizing software engineers is decades old. (The basic idea is that, like lawyers and architects, there should be some professional licensing requirement for software engineers.) Here’s a law journal article recommending the same idea for AI engineers.

    This Article proposes another way: professionalizing AI engineering. Require AI engineers to obtain licenses to build commercial AI products, push them to collaborate on scientifically-supported, domain-specific technical standards, and charge them with policing themselves. This Article’s proposal addresses AI harms at their inception, influencing the very engineering decisions that give rise to them in the first place. By wresting control over information and system design away from companies and handing it to AI engineers, professionalization engenders trustworthy AI by design. Beyond recommending the specific policy solution of professionalization, this Article seeks to shift the discourse on AI away from an emphasis on light-touch, ex post solutions that address already-created products to a greater focus on ex ante controls that precede AI development. We’ve used this playbook before in fields requiring a high level of expertise where a duty to the public welfare must trump business motivations. What if, like doctors, AI engineers also vowed to do no harm?

    I have mixed feelings about the idea. I can see the appeal, but it never seemed feasible. I’m not sure it’s feasible today.

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      Are we ethically ready to set up shop in space?

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 11 March, 2023 - 12:23

    Promotional image from 2001: A Space Odyssey

    Enlarge / Orbiting space station from 2001: A Space Odyssey . (credit: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images )

    Off-Earth will amaze you: On nearly every page, it will have your jaw dropping in response to mind-blowing revelations and your head nodding vigorously in sudden recognition of some of your own half-realized thoughts (assuming you think about things like settling space). It will also have your head shaking sadly in resignation at the many immense challenges author Erika Nesvold describes.

    But the amazement will win out. Off-Earth: Ethical Questions and Quandaries for Living in Outer Space is really, really good.

    The shortcomings of a STEM education

    Nesvold is an astrophysicist. She worked at NASA; she can easily run the equations to calculate how much fuel we need to get people, life support, and mining equipment to Mars.

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