ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

AHRECS research ethics workshop at ACU0

Posted by Admin in on September 28, 2017

In September 2017, Mark Israel ran a seminar on research ethics and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at the Australian Catholic University.

The seminar explored issues raised by our work for the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching AHRECS is happy to arrange to run this seminar in other institutions.

Click here for more about our services and how to engage us.

AI Gaydar Study Gets Another Look – Inside Higher Ed (Colleen Flaherty | September 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 18, 2017

A prominent journal that already accepted a controversial study about using computers to “read” sexuality based on a photo is further scrutinizing the paper after intense public backlash.

Michal Kosinski, a psychologist and assistant professor of business at Stanford University, knew his new study about training a computer to recognize gays and lesbians by their photos would be controversial: so much so that he sat on the paper for months before submitting it for publication.

But while Kosinski expected backlash, he didn’t expect the journal that had already accepted his paper — a preliminary version of which has been widely viewed online — to do what it did this week: initiate another review of parts of the study, citing new concerns about ethics.

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Using AI to determine queer sexuality is misconceived and dangerous – The Conversation (Alex Sharpe and Senthorun Raj | September 2017)

How do we know if someone is gay? A recent Stanford University study has claimed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) using a facial recognition algorithm can more accurately guess whether a person is gay or lesbian than human beings can.

The study has proved controversial not because of our apparent mediocrity in the face of computer algorithms, but because of its dubious methodology – among other things, its exclusive focus on white subjects and its exclusion of bisexual, transgender, and intersex participants. It also highlights the dangers AI poses to the “outing” of sexual minorities against their will, exposing people to possible discrimination.

We strongly object to the use of an algorithmic “gaydar” to predict a person’s sexual orientation and believe studies such as this are both misconceived and pose very real and present dangers for LGBTQI human rights around the world.

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Journal Will Publish AI Gaydar Study After All – Inside Higher Ed (Colleen Flaherty | September 2017)

After some additional review, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology will publish a controversial study about training a computer to predict someone’s sexual orientation based on a photo. An editor for American Psychological Association-owned journal last week informed co-author Michal Kosinski, an assistant professor of business at Stanford University, that it would proceed with publishing the already accepted paper. That seemed somewhat up in the air earlier in the week, when the journal said it needed to address the “ethical status” of the project — namely issues related to copyright of publicly available photos and how Stanford’s Institutional Review Board had assessed the project.

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Dr Con Man: the rise and fall of a celebrity scientist who fooled almost everyone – The Guardian (John Rasko and Carl Power | September 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 17, 2017

Surgeon Paolo Macchiarini was hailed for turning the dream of regenerative medicine into a reality – until he was exposed as a con artist and false prophet

Scientific pioneer, superstar surgeon, miracle worker – that’s how Paolo Macchiarini was known for several years. Dressed in a white lab coat or in surgical scrubs, with his broad, handsome face and easy charm, he certainly looked the part. And fooled almost everyone.

Macchiarini shot to prominence back in 2008, when he created a new airway for Claudia Castillo, a young woman from Barcelona. He did this by chemically stripping away the cells of a windpipe taken from a deceased donor; he then seeded the bare scaffold with stem cells taken from Castillo’s own bone marrow. Castillo was soon back home, chasing after her kids. According to Macchiarini and his colleagues, her artificial organ was well on the way to looking and functioning liked a natural one. And because it was built from Castillo’s own cells, she didn’t need to be on any risky immunosuppressant drugs.

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Friday afternoon’s funny – Overprotective research ethics committee?0

Posted by Admin in on September 15, 2017

Cartoon by Don Mayne

Research ethics committees do have a valid and important role in terms of safeguarding the interests and welfare of participants… but yes… sometimes it can be taken a wee bit too far.