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Hypergiant Executive’s AI-Ethics Framework Concept Recognized With IEEE Award

The Top of Mind Ethics framework’s criteria analyzes how a client is using AI

2 min read
Photo of Will Griffin
Photo: John Davidson/Hypergiant Industries

THE INSTITUTE The recipient of the 2020 IEEE Award for Distinguished Ethical Practices is IEEE Member Will Griffin, the chief ethics officer of Hypergiant Industries. The Texas company offers a suite of AI services.

The award, sponsored by the IEEE Ethics and Member Conduct Committee, recognizes an IEEE member or an organization employing IEEE members for exemplary ethical behavior practices, persuasive advocacy, or promotion of ethical behavior or practices. Griffin was recognized for sustained professional advocacy of ethical practices in industry and academia. The EMCC presented him with the award at a virtual ceremony held on 2 March.

Griffin is credited with developing and implementing Top of Mind Ethics, a three-part, companywide artificial intelligence framework. Hypergiant uses its criteria to analyze how a client is using AI, Griffin explained during the awards ceremony. The company looks at whether there's a positive intent for how the AI will be used, for example, and what its impact on society is likely to be.

“Our goal is to try to get ethical reasoning at the top of mind for AI designers and developers and embedded into the company's product development workflow," Griffin said. “We apply this framework to almost every use case that we have, and it requires our ethics team to have a really strong technical understanding of the AI solution."

Griffin received a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N.H., as well as a degree from Harvard Law School. His Top of Mind framework earned Hypergiant a Communitas Award, which recognizes businesses, organizations, and individuals who unselfishly give of themselves and their resources.

The deadline for nominations for the annual IEEE award is 1 July.

IEEE membership offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities for those who share a common interest in technology. If you are not already a member, consider joining IEEE and becoming part of a worldwide network of more than 400,000 students and professionals.

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Today’s Robotic Surgery Turns Surgical Trainees Into Spectators

Medical training in the robotics age leaves tomorrow's surgeons short on skills

10 min read
Photo of an operating room. On the left side of the image, two surgeons sit at consoles with their hands on controls. On the right side, a large white robot with four arms operates on a patient.

The dominant player in the robotic surgery industry is Intuitive Surgical, which has more than 6,700 da Vinci machines in hospitals around the world. The robot’s four arms can all be controlled by a single surgeon.

Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images
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Before the robots arrived, surgical training was done the same way for nearly a century.

During routine surgeries, trainees worked with nurses, anesthesiologists, and scrub technicians to position and sedate the patient, while also preparing the surgical field with instruments and lights. In many cases, the trainee then made the incision, cauterized blood vessels to prevent blood loss, and positioned clamps to expose the organ or area of interest. That’s often when the surgeon arrived, scrubbed in, and took charge. But operations typically required four hands, so the trainee assisted the senior surgeon by suctioning blood and moving tissue, gradually taking the lead role as he or she gained experience. When the main surgical task was accomplished, the surgeon scrubbed out and left to do the paperwork. The trainee then did whatever stitching, stapling, or gluing was necessary to make the patient whole again.

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