EU issues guidelines for ethical AI development

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The European Union(EU) has published new guidelines for developing ethical AI(Artificial Intelligence). The guidelines are not legally binding and include a list of seven fundamental areas the EU hopes will produce trustworthy and effective AI technology.

No technology raises ethical concerns quite like artificial intelligence. The European Commission on Monday unveiled ethics guidelines calling for “trustworthy AI”, that are designed to influence the development of AI systems before they become deeply embedded in society.

“It’s like putting the foundations in before you build a house … now is the time to do it,” said Liam Benham, the vice president for regulatory affairs in Europe at IBM (IBM), which was involved in drafting the AI guidelines.

The European Commission recommends using an assessment list when developing or deploying AI, but the guidelines aren’t meant to be — or interfere with — policy or regulation. Instead, they offer a loose framework.

Here’s the list of the guidelines’ principles, as listed by the European Commission(EU):

  • Human agency and oversight: AI systems should enable equitable societies by supporting human agency and fundamental rights, and not decrease, limit or misguide human autonomy.
  • Robustness and safety: Trustworthy AI requires algorithms to be secure, reliable and robust enough to deal with errors or inconsistencies during all life cycle phases of AI systems.
  • Privacy and data governance: Citizens should have full control over their own data, while data concerning them will not be used to harm or discriminate against them.
  • Transparency: The traceability of AI systems should be ensured.
  • Diversity, non-discrimination and fairness: AI systems should consider the whole range of human abilities, skills and requirements, and ensure accessibility.
  • Societal and environmental well-being: AI systems should be used to enhance positive social change and enhance sustainability and ecological responsibility.
  • Accountability: Mechanisms should be put in place to ensure responsibility and accountability for AI systems and their outcomes.

Ethical AI is a win-win proposition that can become a competitive advantage for Europe: being a leader of human-centric AI that people can trust,” said Andrus Ansip, EU vice-president for the digital single market, in a statement on Monday.

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