Abstract: In many countries, public administrations increasingly use Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to decide on public service provisions among their citizens. Citizen profiles are assessed for their worthiness to receive public services, scoring using value criteria to distinguish between legal /fraudulent recipients, deserving/non-deserving, or needy/non-needy. Although types and degrees of AI implementation vary between countries, delegating decisions about the distribution of scarce resources based on value judgements to machines leads everywhere to important questions of ethics, justice, quality, responsibility, accountability, and transparency of welfare decisions. However, perceptions, attitudes and acceptance of AI use in service provision vary between countries due to different norms and values in-use, different technology status, economic models, civil society sentiments, and legislative, executive and judicial characteristics. The objective of the AI FORA project is to understand the status quo and the future options of AI-based social assessment in public service provisions in order to create improved AI technology for social welfare systems. Based on data from six empirical country case studies in Germany, Estonia, Spain, India, China and the USA, experimental scenario simulations will guide participatory co-design of societal stakeholders in a Better-AI Lab built by the AI FORA partnership between computer science and the social sciences.
Bio: Since 2013, Prof. Dr. Petra Ahrweiler is Full Professor of Sociology of Technology and Innovation, Social Simulation, at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. Her appointment at JGU started in 2013 with getting leave for obtaining the position of Director and CEO at the EA European Academy of Technology and Innovation Assessment in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, until 2017. Before 2013, she had been Full Professor of Technology and Innovation Management at Michael Smurfit School of Business, University College Dublin, Ireland, and Director of its Innovation Research Unit IRU. Furthermore, she was Research Fellow of the Engineering Systems Division at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge/USA. She started her professional career with studying Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg, Germany. At Free University Berlin, Germany, she received her PhD for a study on Artificial Intelligence, and got her habilitation at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, for a study on simulation in Science and Technology Studies. Petra won various research prizes, has long experience in coordinating and completing international, mostly European research projects, publishes inter-disciplinarily in international journals, and has been awarded with fellowships of various scientific societies such as the German Academy of Technical Sciences acatech or AcademiaNet, the network of excellent female scientists in Germany. From 2020 to 2022, she served as president of the European Social Simulation Association ESSA.