SAP has become the first European technology company to create an external artificial intelligence (AI) ethics advisory panel, with representatives from academia, politics and industry. The panel will ensure the adoption of the new AI guiding principles also announced by the vendor in collaboration with the AI steering committee at SAP, a group of SAP executives from development, strategy and human resources. "SAP considers the ethical use of data a core value," said Luka Mucic, chief financial officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. "We want to create software that enables the intelligent enterprise and actually improves people's lives. Such principles will serve as the basis to make AI a technology that augments human talent." SAP's guiding principles highlight core values around transparency, integrity, quality and safety in the use of AI.
The AI revolution has the promise to unlock boundless potential for businesses: from better products and services, to faster innovation and unimaginable leaps in productivity. But, like all great technological advancements, AI also has the potential to create numerous economic, political and social challenges, depending upon how it is used and implemented. Because of that, the use of AI technology needs to be governed by clear rules of ethics -- defined at the outset of this new era, instead of later on, when abuses or ill-considered practices could be far more difficult to control. This is not the first time society has been at a crossroads where we face new technological powers that can serve great and worthy purposes or be abused to support some very bad ones. Yet one thing is clear and remains in our power: artificial intelligence, will never substitute for human wisdom or moral responsibility.
As made clear by our principles for Trust and Transparency, IBM has always understood that we need to lead by demonstrating responsible adoption and use of new technologies that we develop and bring to the world. That is why we are a big supporter of the EU's work to develop Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, now nearing completion. The guidelines will cement Europe's position as a global pioneer for artificial intelligence that is developed and deployed responsibly and ethically. I have the privilege of being a member of the High Level Expert Group on AI selected by the European Commission and mandated to develop ethics, policy and investment recommendations for AI. Work is ongoing in all three areas.
I welcome the Communications made by the Commission on the 25th of April 2018 and on the 7th of December 2018. In my opinion, a proposal of hard law would have been more efficient to send the message the EU is practically creating a common legislative framework on AI and to prevent from a fragmentation of the market. Such legislative proposal could have ensured the defense of European values. The goal of a Trustworthy AI through ethical purpose and technical robustness requirements promoted by this working document is a good thing. However, I would like to do some comments.
Advancement in artificial intelligence is picking up pace at a substantial level. Entering humans in to an era where decision making will be at least machine consulted, if not machine governed. Since, these intelligent machines or agents do not experience the same emotions and experiences as humans do. Their suggestions or outputs will more likely be calculated decisions, which sometimes are not appropriate from a human standpoint. At this stage it is essential that such intelligent agents are programmed so that their suggestions or outputs coincide with the human ethics and traditions.