Sunday Jun 16, 2024

#35 Navigating AI: Ethical Challenges and Opportunities a conversation with Hiwot Tesfaye

In a time when AI is both celebrated for its potential and feared for its risks, join us as we dive into the complex world of artificial intelligence with Hiwot Tesfaye, Technical Advisor in Microsoft's Office of Responsible AI.  She provides a perspective on how we can harness this powerful technology responsibly. From addressing systemic inequities to imagining a future where AI and humans coexist harmoniously, this episode promises to challenge your thinking and inspire new possibilities."

In this episode, we explore the ethical dimensions of artificial intelligence with Hiwot Tesfaye. She delves into the delicate balance of leveraging AI's potential while mitigating its risks, emphasizing the importance of ethical frameworks in AI deployment.

Hiwot shares how her journey from health tech startups to AI ethics has shaped her understanding of global inequities and the transformative power of technology. She highlights the need for inclusive and equitable AI systems, ensuring voices from the Global South are included in global AI policy discussions.

Hiwot also provides insights from her work with the Stimson Center, a think tank dedicated to global peace and security. She discusses the Center's innovative approaches to addressing the ethical challenges of emerging technologies and promoting global stability. Throughout the conversation, Hiwot offers a thought-provoking perspective on navigating the ethical complexities of AI to create a future that benefits all of humanity.

Listeners will be inspired by Hiwot's vision for a responsible AI ecosystem and her commitment to integrating ethical considerations into AI technologies. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, ethics, and social justice.

Hiwot Tesfaye is a Technical Advisor in Microsoft's Office of Responsible AI, where she plays a crucial role in developing ethical frameworks and practices for AI deployment. Born and raised in East Africa, Hiwot's early experiences in Ethiopia sparked her interest in global inequities and the transformative potential of technology. Her childhood in Africa, marked by both challenges and opportunities, deeply influenced her commitment to social justice and equity.

Hiwot's educational journey began with a focus on economics and nutritional sciences, which she pursued at the University of Toronto. She then furthered her studies in advanced analytics at North Carolina State University’s Institute of Advanced Analytics. This diverse academic background equipped her with the skills and knowledge to transition from working on health tech startups to becoming a voice in AI ethics

Passionate about creating inclusive and equitable AI systems, Hewitt is also a key figure in initiatives that ensure voices from the Global South are included in global AI policy discussions. She serves as a co-chair on the Aether Fairness and Inclusiveness working group, which helps develop perspectives and practices related to Microsoft’s goals and requirements around fairness and inclusiveness. In addition to her role at Microsoft, Hiwot is a Loomis Council member at the Stimson Center, a renowned nonpartisan think tank dedicated to enhancing global peace and security. The Stimson Center is known for its innovative and pragmatic approaches to some of the world's most pressing challenges, including arms control, climate change, and international security. At Stimson, Hewitt contributes to research and policy development aimed at ensuring that AI and other emerging technologies are harnessed for the greater good, promoting global stability and equity. Her work at the intersection of technology and social justice exemplifies her commitment to creating a future where technological advancements benefit all of humanity. 

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