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Ongoing Research


Here you will find a list of projects that AIRES at PUCRS is currently developing.

Feel invited to contact us if you are interested in joining any of these efforts!🤗

Worldwide AI Ethics 🌎


Description 📝


Worldwide AI Ethics is a systematic literature review done by AIRES researchers. Building on the work done by other meta-analysts, this study presents an analysis of 200 documents related to AI ethics and governance, presenting a collection of typologies used to classify our sample, all condensed into an interactive, freely accessible online tool.


Activities 💼


Extend the Worldwide AI Ethics sample. We intend to keep on making AIRES the number one meta-analysis of the field>. For this, we need to keep updating our dashboard with new documents. The research involves searching and analyzing documents (AI Ethics Guidelines, Bills, Legislation, Governance Frameworks, Codes of Conduct) related to AI Governance. Documents and their respective information are submitted via google forms to a central spreadsheet for further analysis and post-processing. We would like to make new publications as soon as we have a bigger and more representative sample size (e.g., 300 documents). We would like to have the help of people who understand different languages, so we can analyze documents from different places and cultures.


Researcher Profile 👤


People wanting to learn about AI Ethics, AI governance, and AI regulation. Students from the fields of Law, Philosophy, and Social Sciences were the main contributors to the first iteration of this research. Since this is a review, it's a great way for anyone that wants to learn more about the field to "get started."


AI Risk Monitoring 💥


Description 📝


We are currently building a database of published Machine Learning models. This database contains information about these models, their capabilities, and the possible risks (together with ethical concerns) regarding their utilization. The aim is to map the biggest problems and threats that AI poses to our society.


Activities 💼


This research involves searching for AI systems currently being used (especially the most proficient). You will have to read and learn about their workings, how they were developed, and how they operate, so you can create a preliminary risk/ethical evaluation. Information is usually found in the form of publications, code repositories, model cards, and similar sources.


Researcher Profile 👤


People interested in learning about state-of-the-art in Machine Learning, Robotics, and AI system development. Students from any field can learn, but people with more technical backgrounds (e.g., Computer Science) will probably have an easier time understanding the papers and technical descriptions. Since this is a review, it's a great way for anyone that wants to learn more about the field to "get started."


Ethical Dilemmas in Software Development ⚖️


Description 📝


We are currently building a web application to automate an experiment in moral philosophy. This experiment aims to find out how ethical guidelines influence software developers' decision making. We also are seeking to investigate different forms of how we can "teach ethics" in STEM fields.


Activities 💼


This research involves spreading the tool of our research. Showing it to possible respondents. Conducting controlled surveys, and similar tasks.


Researcher Profile 👤


Experimental research is usually a little bit more tricky. We would like to encourage anyone who wants to help to join efforts with us (there are activities besides data collection you can help with), but if you want to help with the experiment design and data collection, some experience in experimental research would be good.


Teeny-tiny Castle 🏰


Description 📝


The teeny-tiny_castle is a repository filled with tools to use in AI Ethics and AI Safety. It is a python based course on how to create and use tools for addressing certain safety issues in AI (e.g., interpretability, sustainability, fairness, robustness). You can also find an introductory course on ML (Machine Learning). Our objective is to gather as many tools and knowledge as we can, and later, turn all of them into a python library, so developers can download and use our pre-made tools (e.g., a function that automatically gives you the fairness scores of a classifier).


Activities 💼


This research involves programming and software development in Python. It is basically the job of training, evaluating, and attacking ML models. Showing how to do this in a clear and instructive way. We should also look for new libraries and tools to use. And, in the end, convert all accumulated knowledge into a python module


Researcher Profile 👤


People with experience in Python, ML, Data Science, and programming in general. Cybersecurity enthusiasts are welcome!


Ai.ra - the AIRES Expert 🤖


Description 📝


Ai.ra is a chatbot (or "chatterbot"). We can also say that Ai.ra is a language model, i.e. it is a software application capable of manipulating text. Ai.ra is designed to simulate the way a human (expert) would behave during a round of questions and answers (Q&A). Ai.ra is a closed domain chatbot designed to provide definitions and answer questions on topics related to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, AI ethics, and AI safety, and this is her "domain". We are currently looking to increase the reach of our system and make it an even better tool. The goal of Ai.ra is to serve as a learning assistant in topics related to AI ethics and safety.


Activities 💼


Increase the vocabulary and domain expertise of our Language model. Adding more languages is something we would like to implement. The activity mainly consists of improving the vocabulary, code, and domain expertise of our model.


Researcher Profile 👤


People who master more than one language, and have an interest in creating a "glossary" of useful terms to know while learning about our field of research. Individuals with expertise in NLP and language modelling (specifically chatbots) are very welcome!


"AI Ethics Tool" Development 🛠️


Description 📝


We are currently developing two types of tools: an EPS (Ethical Problem Solving tool) and an AIA (Algorithmic Impact Assessment tool). These tools are made to troubleshoot developers and help them create systems in a human-centric way (value-sensitive design). AIAs are intended to evaluate the potential risks of an AI application (ex-ante).


Activities 💼


Studying existing tools, and helping other researchers to develop new and better methods to incorporate ethics inside AI system development.


Researcher Profile 👤


People that are interested in creating tools like surveys and self-assessment questionnaires. All areas of knowledge are welcome in this endeavor, especially the Humanities and STEM fields. People with very specific backgrounds (e.g., psychology) can help to create tools aimed at assessing AI applications developed for, for example, automating activities conducted by mental health professionals (e.g., therapy).