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IEEE Releases First Edition of Ethically Aligned Design

The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems released Ethically Aligned Design; First Edition for the purpose of advancing the public discussion on ethical and social implications of Artificial Intelligence. The document was drafted by committees of IEEE and has been contributed to by over one hundred global thought leaders and experts in AI, ethics, and related issues.


The first section of the document focuses on the general principles which are:


  • Human Rights: AI should operate with respect and intent to promote and protect internationally recognized human rights

  • Well-Being: increased human well-being should be the primary success criterion for the development of AI

  • Data Agency: Individuals should have the ability to access and control their personal data, as well as insure that their data is securely shared

  • Effectiveness: creators and operators of AI must provide evidence of effectiveness and fitness for purpose of AI

  • Transparency: any decision taken by an AI should have a discoverable basis

  • Accountability: unambiguous rationale should be available for all decisions made

  • Awareness of Misuse: the mitigation of misuse and risks associated with AI

  • Competence: operators of AI should adhere to the knowledge and skill required for safe and effective operation


Following this, the document goes over the challenges that we face in embedding a values system into an autonomous one, as values are often not universal which in turn subjects the AI to conflicting values. The document then explores the methodologies that are currently guiding ethical research and design. Additionally, the document expands on the safety and beneficence of AI, as AI at such an advanced level may have transformative effects beyond those of the agricultural or industrial revolutions. The document then addresses the fundamental need people have to control their personal data as well as the potential of AI systems hold for reframing autonomous weapons. Finally, the document explores economic and humanitarian considerations, such as the popular debate surrounding employment issues that AI is creating as well as considers the legal role that must be played in the development and use of AI.





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