Monash expert to propose novel approach for fair AI at prestigious assistive tech conference

14 October 2021

Dr Reuben Kirkham from the Inclusive Technologies Lab in Monash Faculty of Information Technology’s Department of Human-Centred Computing is set to present a novel approach to law and disability rights at the esteemed international assistive technologies conference, ASSETS 2021.

Published in top assistive technologies research journal ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS), his paper ‘‘How Could Equality and Data Protection Law Shape AI Fairness for People with Disabilities?’ is co-authored with a leading fair AI researcher from the University of Oxford, Dr Reuben Binns.

The paper explains how the intersection between data protection and equality law has the potential to challenge AI systems that discriminate against people with disabilities by increasing transparency and explainability.

They introduce a new approach to increase AI fairness that focuses on challenging the deployment of harmful automated decision-making systems, setting an agenda for data protection law-compliant automated assistive technology and advancing the role of disability rights organisations in the governance of AI.

‘Ours is a novel approach for the advancement of disability rights, being the first body of work that proposes a bespoke consideration of fair legal AI approaches for people living with disabilities.’ said Dr Kirkham.

In other legal jurisdictions, discrimination, data protection and other protected characteristics are typically applied differently to people living with disabilities. This proposal addresses how the same distinctive risks and practical considerations should also be used in AI for people living with disabilities.

‘Data protection and discrimination law present many opportunities for people with disabilities to challenge the deployment of AI systems, as well as shape them to better meet their needs.’ said Dr Binns.

The conference will be held virtually on Monday 18 October to Friday 22 October. Dr Kirkham’s presentation will be on Thursday 21 October at 10.15AM New York Time/5 PM London time.

The ASSETS conference is the premier forum for presenting research on design, evaluation, use and education relating to computing for people with disabilities and older adults.