Legal/Regulatory, Ethical, Social, and Policy (LESP) Issues Concerning the Use of Artificial Intelligence for Science and Engineering -ON-449

Desired discipline(s): Computer science, Mathematical Sciences, Mathematics, Economics, Social Sciences & Humanities, Law, Philosophy
Company: Council of Canadian Academies
Project Length: 4 to 6 months
Preferred start date: As soon as possible.
Language requirement: Flexible
Location(s): Ottawa (This is an on-site or remote position). Due to COVID-19, all CCA staff are currently working remotely. We welcome applications from candidates across Canada, and relocation will be welcome, though not required once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, ON, Canada; Canada
No. of positions: flexible
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About the company: 

The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) is a not-for-profit organization that convenes the best experts in their respective fields to assess the evidence on complex scientific topics of public interest to inform decision-making in Canada. Led by a Board of Directors and guided by a Scientific Advisory Committee and its Member Academies, the CCA’s work encompasses a broad definition of science, incorporating the natural, social, and health sciences as well as engineering and the humanities. 

Assessments are conducted by multidisciplinary and multisectoral panels of experts from across Canada and abroad who volunteer their time and lend their expertise and knowledge to the CCA.  Upon completion, assessments provide key decision-makers, researchers and stakeholders, with high-quality information and evidence.   

To protect the independence and integrity of the assessment process, sponsors do not participate in the production of assessments, review drafts of reports, or propose any changes to reports before their release. All reports undergo formal peer review and are made available to the public free of charge in both official languages. 

Please describe the project.: 

The overarching goal of each CCA assessment is to evaluate the best available evidence on particularly complex issues where the science may be challenging to understand, contradictory, or difficult to assemble.   

For this particular project, an Expert Panel will be assembled that spans the breadth of areas of expertise needed to fully explore the questions identified below.  The CCA, with the support of a Mitacs intern, will apply a variety of methodologies to be determined in consultation with the Expert Panel, such as literature reviews, meeting syntheses and/or summaries, drafting of briefs that assemble a broad range of perspectives in potentially new and more comprehensible ways in order to address the following:  

  • What are the legal/regulatory, ethical, policy and social challenges associated with deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to enable scientific/engineering research? 
  • How does the use of AI in scientific research and engineering change/influence standard science and engineering practices, processes and outputs? Including: 
  • How do we ensure scientific integrity (i.e., reproducibility, validity)?  
  • What are the societal, ethical, and epistemic implications that need to be addressed?   
  • What are the social and ethical considerations do individual researchers and research collaborations need to consider when using AI in science and engineering (e.g., bias, sex/gender)? How can current and future generation of researchers be supported to ensure ethical practices? 
  • What policies have been implemented related to deployment and use of AI in science and engineering in Canadian and international jurisdictions? 

This research will contribute the the following report:

English: https://cca-reports.ca/reports/ai-for-science-and-engineering/

French: https://www.rapports-cac.ca/reports/lia-pour-la-science-et-le-genie/

Required expertise/skills: 

  • Ability to synthesize complex discussions, documentation, and literature into summary documents. 
  • Ability to organize documentation and data. 
  • Excellent written communication skills – particularly an ability to translate scientific concepts and results into text for non-specialists. 
  • Knowledge of one area of science (broadly-defined) – specialized scientific, social science or economics training, including advanced degrees. 
  • Knowledge of and experience in conducting academic literature searches and in report production. 
  • High-level functionality with Word and Excel. 
  • Familiarity with referencing software (Endnote).