The European Commission has published the results of the public consultation on the ethical principles of Artificial intelligence.
Can you imagine being part of the decision makers behind the ethical choices of those people who serve us in shops and establishments? For example, imagine going to the bank to ask for a credit card and being able to discuss with the one in charge of the ethical reasons to grant or deny your request. Or, for example, imagine parents asking the headteachers the human rights he or she has taken into account to decide whether or not their child should be enrolled. It would be crazy to think about a society where every single action is judged according to imposed ethical values used as a benchmark to determine what type of house one should have or what countries one should travel to, similar to the famous chapter of the Black Mirror series.
Well it may not be as crazy as we imagine, something similar is in the process of elaboration on the part of the European Commission, but it is not applied to people but to artificial intelligence. This is less striking because the ultimate goal of artificial intelligence is to resemble as much as possible human behaviour, but with the advantages that automation implies. In this sense, it is necessary to provide Artificial intelligence with certain ethical values that wrap their actions and decisions in a minimum of moral norms that allow their insertion into society.
For this purpose, a group of experts on Artificial Intelligence published on the 18th December a report on the ethical basis that must be present in systems that incorporate artificial intelligence (you can read a summary of the document here). The key initiatives include the establishment of framework ethical principles and practical implementation of solutions, in both cases from the “human-centric approach”, which prioritises civil, political, economic and social status of the human being.
The draft was exposed to public consultation, and now the Commission has published the results of it, which you can access here. The final document is expected to be published in March, in order to create an ethical commitment to which companies and institutions can freely adhere to.