Ethical Issues and AI

October 1, 2021 | Carrie

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Artificial intelligence (AI) impacts nearly all aspects of our lives. From facial recognition to autocorrect to Google Maps, AI has become a part of our everyday. While AI has the potential to enhance our lives in many ways, a number of ethical concerns have been raised about its uses. Some of the concerns involve bias and discrimination, unequal distribution of wealth, privacy and surveillance, the disappearance of jobs, and how to maintain control over complex and intelligent systems. The Partnership on AI (full name: Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society) was founded in 2016 by Amazon, Facebook, Google, DeepMind, Microsoft, and IBM (Apple joined in 2017). This non-profit coalition aims to research, publish and develop best practices for the ethical use of AI. Their Resource Library contains “collected papers, resources, and other outputs” that explore ethical issues and AI. On its website, UNESCO outlines a number of examples of ethical issues and AI that include: biased AI, concerns about autonomous vehicles, how to credit art created by AI, and the use of AI in judicial systems.

Toronto Public Library has a number of resources to help you better understand the ethical issues and AI. Check out the resources below to learn more!



AI ethics

AI Ethics


97 things

97 things about ethics everyone in data science should know: collective wisdom from the experts



The alignment problem

The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values


Responsible Data Science

Responsible Data Science: Transparency and Fairness in Algorithms


Human machine

Human + machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI


Responsible AI

Responsible AI


Life 3.0

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence


eLearning Courses

For all of these resources, you will need a current Toronto Public Library card. You can also use them with our Digital Access card.


LinkedIn Learning (formerly

Online tutorials that you can take at your own pace. Create an account to track your progress. Follow the links below to these courses. Course descriptions are all from LinkedIn Learning.

Introduction to Responsible AI Algorithm Design

"What does it mean to design responsible AI algorithms? Instructor Martin Kemka introduces important basics, like defining AI and knowing what it means to be responsible in developing them. Learn how algorithms are deployed and how you can track their use and abuse. Martin also explains the risks of being irresponsible with AI."

Safeguarding AI

"Massive computing power, research, and open-source code have made artificial intelligence (AI) accessible to everyone. But with great power comes great responsibility. As more businesses incorporate AI into their strategies, it’s critical for executives and analysts alike to ensure AI isn't being deployed for harmful purposes."


Gale Courses

These are online, instructor-led courses with specific start dates. Learn more about Gale Courses. Course descriptions below are all from Gale Courses.

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

"For decades, artificial intelligence (AI) has been a staple of science fiction stories, but thanks to modern advances in computational capacity and storage capabilities, it's becoming a reality. Today, there are examples of artificial intelligence all around us. The purpose of this course is to provide you with an artificial intelligence practical knowledge foundation."

Introduction to Machine Learning

"The Introduction to Machine Learning course will allow you to learn about specific techniques used in supervised, unsupervised, and semi-supervised learning, including which applications each type of machine learning is best suited for and the type of training data each requires."


Online Resources

A People’s Guide to AI

"Written in 2018 by Mimi Onuoha and Mother Cyborg (Diana Nucera), A People’s Guide to AI is a comprehensive beginner’s guide to understanding AI and other data-driven tech. The guide uses a popular education approach to explore and explain AI-based technologies so that everyone—from youth to seniors, and from non-techies to experts—has the chance to think critically about the kinds of futures automated technologies can bring."


Library Programs

Join Keith McDonald (educator and founder of literacyAI) in a program series of keithCHATS - touching on what people (non-technical persons especially) need to know about AI:

  • How and where AI is being used
  • How AI is created
  • How AI infiltrates social media users
  • How Ethicial AI must be our prime directive
  • How AI can be both positive and negative at the same time