After little more than a week, Google backtracked on creating its Advanced Technology External Advisory Council, or ATEAC--a committee meant to give the company guidance on how to ethically develop new technologies such as AI. The inclusion of the Heritage Foundation's president, Kay Coles James, on the council caused an outcry over her anti-environmentalist, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-immigrant views, and led nearly 2,500 Google employees to sign a petition for her removal. Instead, the internet giant simply decided to shut down the whole thing. How did things go so wrong? And can Google put them right?
SAP has released its guiding principles for artificial intelligence (AI). Recognizing the significant impact of AI on people, our customers, and wider society, SAP designed these guiding principles to steer the development and deployment of our AI software to help the world run better and improve people's lives. For us, these guidelines are a commitment to move beyond what is legally required and to begin a deep and continuous engagement with the wider ethical and socioeconomic challenges of AI. We look forward to expanding our conversations with customers, partners, employees, legislative bodies, and civil society; and to making our guiding principles an evolving reflection on these discussions and the ever-changing technological landscape. We recognize that, like with any technology, there is scope for AI to be used in ways that are not aligned with these guiding principles and the operational guidelines we are developing.
The cyberspace and the development of new technologies, especially intelligent systems using artificial intelligence, present enormous challenges to computer professionals, data scientists, managers and policy makers. There is a need to address professional responsibility, ethical, legal, societal, and policy issues. This paper presents problems and issues relevant to computer professionals and decision makers and suggests a curriculum for a course on ethics, law and policy. Such a course will create awareness of the ethics issues involved in building and using software and artificial intelligence.
As more decisions become automated and processed by algorithms, these processes become more opaque and less accountable. The public has a right to know the data processes that impact their lives so they can correct errors and contest decisions made by algorithms. Personal data collected from our social connections and online activities are used by the government and companies to make determinations about our ability to fly, obtain a job, get security clearance, and even determine the severity of criminal sentencing. These opaque, automated decision-making processes bear risks of secret profiling and discrimination as well as undermine our privacy and freedom of association. Without knowledge of the factors that provide the basis for decisions, it is impossible to know whether government and companies engage in practices that are deceptive, discriminatory, or unethical.
We live in the digital world, where every day we interact with digital systems either through a mobile device or from inside a car. These systems are increasingly autonomous in making decisions over and above their users or on behalf of them. As a consequence, ethical issues--privacy ones included (for example, unauthorized disclosure and mining of personal data, access to restricted resources)--are emerging as matters of utmost concern since they affect the moral rights of each human being and have an impact on the social, economic, and political spheres. Europe is at the forefront of the regulation and reflections on these issues through its institutional bodies. Privacy with respect to the processing of personal data is recognized as part of the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals.