Misleading AI

Thursday, 12 May 2022
UWA Institute of Advanced Studies
Honours Students, Postgraduate Students, Early Career Researchers, Academics, Professional Researchers


Creek image

Misleading AI: Regulatory Strategies for Digital Technologies Augmenting Consumer Decision-Making

An Institute of Advanced Studies Masterclass with Professor Jeannie Paterson, Professor of Law; Co-Director, Centre for AI and Digital Ethics (CAIDE); Co-leader, Digital Ethics Research Stream, Melbourne Social Equity Institute

This masterclass for advanced postgraduates and academics focuses on the increasing prevalence of algorithmic processes, captured under the broad umbrella of “AI” in popular parlance, to assist or augment consumer decision-making.

Products such as recommender systems, comparison sites, apps and web interfaces, wearables, virtual assistants, and chatbots are being promoted as effective and efficient ways of assisting consumers in managing otherwise insurmountable volumes of information and choice. Yet often these products don’t work as consumers expect, and may further carry a number of kinds of risk of harm.

This masterclass will explore the attractions of such technologies, the possible harms to consumer welfare, and the options for effective regulation.

The inquiry will be grounded in case studies, involving wearables such as fitness trackers, virtual assistants and robo-advisers.

The benefits and costs, as well as the functional and technical limitations of these tools will be considered.

Participants will be encouraged to interrogate the regulatory tools that may be used to ensure fair, safe and effective outcomes for consumers, having regard to the unique features of such technologies. They will also consider the role of AI ethics and assess the possible contribution from techniques of transparent and explainable AI, as well as privacy/HR impact assessments and performance audits. These techniques have been proposed in the EU, and elsewhere, as ways of ensuring more responsible and trustworthy AI in society, but have also been subject to their own criticisms.

Jeannie Marie Paterson is a Professor of Law and the Co-Director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Ethics (CAIDE), a cross-disciplinary research, teaching, and policy centre established across the Faculties of Engineering, Law, Arts, and Science at the University of Melbourne. Her research covers contracts, consumer protection, and consumer credit law, and explores the role of new technologies in these fields. Professor Paterson teaches a number of subjects in law, ethics, and emerging technologies at the undergraduate, Juris Doctor and postgraduate level. She holds a current legal practicing certificate and regularly consults to government, regulators, and not-for-profit organisations. Professor Paterson is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and is an editor (consumer protection law) for the Australian Business Law Review.

  1. UWA Home
  2. Institute of Advanced Studies
  3. Masterclasses
  4. Prof Jeannie Paterson Masterclass