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Thursday, November 21, 2019

“Online Safety in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”


Family Online Safety Institute Releases Whitepaper at FOSI 2019:
“Online Safety in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”
Washington, DC, November 21 -- Today at the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)s 2019 Annual Conference, the development of innovative solutions around online child protection in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a primary focus. The event, entitled, “2020 Vision: The Future of Online Safety,” will explore the future implications of new technologies and digital infrastructure in both our personal lives and the wider world.

In cooperation with research firm
Kaleido Insights, FOSI is releasing a new whitepaper, “Online Safety in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” along with an analytical presentation of the paper’s findings during a featured presentation by author Jessica Groopman. The presentation will be followed by a plenary panel session featuring experts who will discuss the technical and social impacts of new, AI-powered technologies. The whitepaper focuses on how current regulations and efforts to ensure privacy online are unlikely to be sufficient moving forward given the transformational services that are already being developed using AI.

The paper’s key points include: 
  • AI already impacts how we think about children’s online safety. “Social media platforms and online gaming use AI to promote the most irresistible and influential content. Parental control apps use AI to scan millions of messages sent by children and teens. Industry uses AI to combat the spread of child sexual abuse material through technologies such as Microsoft’s PhotoDNA which scans images and videos.”
  • From chatbots to personal assistance: empathetic computing will increase our reliance on AI. Proponents and critics alike emphasize the power of empathetic computing, when machines recognize our emotions and respond accordingly. In the future, digital assistants will influence our social emotional worlds as well as our physical world: always available, always learning, and always personalizing.
  • From job-based to skill-based: the future of work will demand adaptability and human-AI partnerships. “A 2018 study by the World Economic Forum stated that 54% of the skills that workers need – regardless of industry – will have changed by 2022, suggesting we all should “skill, re-skill, and re-skill again.” Although automation may not completely eliminate existing occupations, as it is more likely to replace specific tasks than entire roles, it will shift workers to new tasks, underscoring the need for adaptability.”

“We must develop a culture of responsibility now – one in which online safety relies upon government, tech companies, schools, parents as well as kids,” said Stephen Balkam, FOSI’s founder and CEO. “The idea of time well spent online can’t just be a concept. It is essential that we all work together to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of AI on our children, while maximizing the tremendous benefits it can offer our future generations.”

Federal Trade Commissioner Christine S. Wilson will also speak at the event, exploring how the FTC protects children online under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and what more the agency can do to update its efforts in light of evolving technologies.

The event covenes leaders from across industry, government, law enforcement, academia, and the nonprofit sector to discuss a wide spectrum of technology topics, including legislative proposals, ethics, privacy, digital parenting, and how AI will change the digital world that young people grow up in.

Anne Keeney


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