83. Rosie Campbell - Should all AI research be published?


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When OpenAI developed its GPT-2 language model in early 2019, they initially chose not to publish the algorithm, owing to concerns over its potential for malicious use, as well as the need for the AI industry to experiment with new, more responsible publication practices that reflect the increasing power of modern AI systems.

This decision was controversial, and remains that way to some extent even today: AI researchers have historically enjoyed a culture of open publication and have defaulted to sharing their results and algorithms. But whatever your position may be on algorithms like GPT-2, it’s clear that at some point, if AI becomes arbitrarily flexible and powerful, there will be contexts in which limits on publication will be important for public safety.

The issue of publication norms in AI is complex, which is why it’s a topic worth exploring with people who have experience both as researchers, and as policy specialists — people like today’s Towards Data Science podcast guest, Rosie Campbell. Rosie is the Head of Safety Critical AI at Partnership on AI (PAI), a nonprofit that brings together startups, governments, and big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon, to shape best practices, research, and public dialogue about AI’s benefits for people and society. Along with colleagues at PAI, Rosie recently finished putting together a white paper exploring the current hot debate over publication norms in AI research, and making recommendations for researchers, journals and institutions involved in AI research.

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