That’s A Wrap: Sony AI Ends Fiscal Year 2023 with SXSW, Two New Published Articles and More


April 3, 2024

The past year marked a period of remarkable creativity, innovation, and excitement for Sony AI as it advanced its mission to research and develop AI that augments, and works in harmony with, humans to benefit society and enhance entertainment experiences.

From showcasing groundbreaking work at prominent conferences such as ICCV 2023 and NeurIPS 2023; to publishing important research including Beyond Skin Tone: A Multidimensional Measure of Apparent Skin Color; to launching GT Sophy 2.0 as a permanent in-game feature in Gran Turismo 7, the Sony AI team worked tirelessly to bring their research to the forefront of the technology industry.

In the last quarter of the Sony fiscal year, Sony AI’s momentum continued with the organization’s participation in the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 38th annual conference, SXSW, and the release of a new essay and paper from the AI Ethics team.

AAAI 2024
February 20-27, 2024

In AAAI 2024’s workshop on eXplainable AI approaches for deep reinforcement learning, Sony AI research scientist, Jerone Andrews, gave an invited talk entitled, “A View From Somewhere: Decomposing the Dimensions of Human Decision Making.” This discussion covered research from the AI Ethics team’s ICLR 2023 published conference paper, “A View From Somewhere: Human-Centric Face Representations.”

In the research paper, Sony AI researchers share A View From Somewhere (AVFS), a dataset of 638,180 human judgments of face similarity. The researchers demonstrated the utility of AVFS for learning a continuous, low-dimensional embedding space aligned with human perception. The embedding space, induced under a novel conditional framework, not only enables the accurate prediction of face similarity, but also provides a human-interpretable decomposition of the dimensions used in the human-decision making process, and the importance distinct annotators place on each dimension. The researchers also showed the practicality of the dimensions for collecting continuous attributes, performing classification, and comparing dataset attribute disparities.

February 28, 2024

Daedalus, the open access Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, released its winter 2024 issue, “Understanding Implicit Bias: Insights & Innovations,” which included a new essay, “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who’s the Fairest of Them All?” This thought-provoking piece was authored by Alice Xiang, Global Head of AI Ethics, Sony Group Corporation, and Lead Research Scientist at Sony AI.

Alice’s essay discusses the challenges to developing fairer AI, and how they stem from this reflective property. More specifically, she considers how AI reflects patterns in society, just and unjust, and the worldviews of its human creators, fair or biased, as well as highlights the ongoing debates in AI ethics that often hinge on comparisons between AI and humans.

March 8-16, 2024

Sony AI President, Michael Spranger, participated in a fireside chat with IEEE Spectrum’s senior editor, Eliza Strickland, titled, “Ethics in an AI World: Better to be Seen or Unseen?

In the session, the pair discussed how the increase in facial recognition and computer vision technologies has created a tension between the need for privacy in a society fearful of surveillance and the need for representative, fair and unbiased data. Michael and Eliza then went on to converse about how facial recognition and computer vision technologies could be developed to balance both in an era when the power of data and AI continues to grow.

You can listen to the audio from Michael’s session here.

Additionally, Peter Stone, Executive Director of Sony AI America and David Bruton Jr. Centennial Professor at The University of Texas at Austin, participated in a panel, “AI-Enabled Robots: Possibilities, Challenges and Ethics.” Joined by Oregon State University’s Bill Smart, Diligent Robotics’ Andrea Tomaz, and The Wall Street Journal’s Jackie Snow, Peter explored the future of household robotics and discussed the evolving landscape of AI-enabled robots within human homes.

For more information on Sony AI’s work, visit our blog or view our recent publications.

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