Erdinç Saçan, lecturer and researcher at Fontys Hogeschool ICT and Practor at ROC Tilburg, wrote a book titled “Inclusive Artificial Intelligence. In the book 40 experts explain in clear language what AI is, and which questions, challenges and opportunities the technology brings. On February 23, the first copy was handed over to board chairman Joep Houterman in the Fontys ICT InnovationLab.
Inclusive artificial intelligence
Fontys is involved in the new technology in a broad organizational sense. As a knowledge institute, the university is engaged in applied research on AI from various disciplines. On behalf of the Board, Joep Houterman is therefore pleased to receive the book. Houterman: “Fontys wants to contribute to a sustainable, inclusive and vital society. That’s why we think it’s important to work together with experts from ICT and mathematics to sports and healthcare. This transformative technology affects everyone’s field of expertise. This makes AI a complex challenge, which we take up together. Erdinç Saçan shows the importance of this multidisciplinary approach in his book; 40 experts with a diversity of backgrounds are interviewed and each offers new insights. Moreover, in doing so he gives both professionals and the interested reader a grip on a complex social change.”
Letter from the tax authorities
We all feel the direct impact of AI, if not in the daily portion of advertising that algorithms serve us, then in techniques that make our lives easier. For Erdinç Saçan, it was a letter from the tax authorities to his mother that inspired him to write this book: “My mother received a letter, which stated that she was suspected of fraud in the benefits affair. I wondered how, as a 75-year-old, she had ended up on that list. How had the algorithm arrived at this choice?” To understand this better, Saçan decided to write to a number of experts: “By asking several experts you get new and diverse perspectives, which is also what you read back in the book. It helps you to form a more complete picture of what AI is doing to us. The diversity of interviewees is huge, it really touches everyone.”
People Make AI
There are a number of conclusions Saçan draws after the many interviews he did about AI. Perhaps the most important is the human side of AI: “Technology is impartial, but we are not. That’s why we need to think carefully about the design of AI, and the kind of data we put in. There are plenty of stories about systems with a bias on skin color, ethnicity or gender. People make AI, and you want to involve as diverse a group as possible. That’s exactly what we’re doing at Fontys.”
Fontys also recently launched its knowledge center AI, in which several professorships and institutes collaborate on research and application of the technology.
The book Inclusive Artificial Intelligence (Dutch) can be downloaded for free from this webpage.