Artificial Intelligence, Policy, and Practice

Organization housed within the College of Computing and Information Science at Cornell University. We approach AI as a fundamentally socio-technical phenomenon, one that must be understood with both normative depth and technical precision. We combine technical, sociological, philosophical and legal expertise and methods, in order to more fully understand and more wisely develop the future path and impact of AI. We aim to contribute to — and engage with — researchers, policymakers, and practitioners.

Our areas of research interest include:

  • Fairness: AI has the potential to to improve the quality and fairness of high-stakes decision-making, but also poses risks that such decision-making may reproduce existing biases. Our work considers the role of AI as a supplement to, and analytic lens on, the policy decisions of human experts across a range of domains, including criminal justice, credit, and employment.
  • Explainability: In some situations, the improved accuracy that AI can bring to decision-making may come at the cost of understanding the reasons behind those decisions. Further research is necessary to better understand this trade-off as a technical matter—and develop techniques and policies to manage it.
  • Work: AI stands to greatly impact social and economic outcomes in the workplace, particularly for low-wage workers. Our research considers how AI is transforming the nature of work—not only through the risk of worker displacement, but by facilitating more granular control over workers who remain on the job.
  • Data: AI depends on massive stocks of data, much of which is concentrated in the hands of a few commercial global actors. Our work will consider how the command of such data may shape the AI agenda, and how access to training data may be made available to a more diverse set of social actors and interests.