BIoT Canada

Principles and recommendations for ethical development of AI unveiled

December 5, 2018  

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The University of Montreal in collaboration with the Fonds de recherche du Québec, has launched l the Montréal Declaration for Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence.

The set of ethical guidelines for the development of artificial intelligence is the culmination of more than a year of work, research and consultations with citizens, experts, public policymakers and industry stakeholders, civil society organizations, and professional orders, the two organizations said in a release.

They added that while AI is a major form of scientific and technological progress that can generate considerable social benefits, “it does pose ethical challenges and social risks. It is incumbent on the various public and private stakeholders and policymakers, at the local, national and international levels, to ensure that the development and deployment of AI are compatible with the protection and fulfillment of fundamental human capacities and goals.”

A key objective of the Declaration is to identify the ethical principles and values applicable to the fields of digital technology and AI that promote the fundamental interests of people and groups.

The principles are as follows:

Well-being: The development and use of artificial-intelligence systems (AIS) must permit the growth of the well-being of all sentient beings.

Respect for autonomy: AIS must be developed and used with respect for people’s autonomy, and with the goal of increasing people’s control over their lives and their surroundings.

Protection of privacy and intimacy: Privacy and intimacy must be protected from intrusion by AIS and by data-acquisition and archiving systems.

Solidarity: The development of AIS must be compatible with maintaining the bonds of solidarity among people and generations.

Democratic participation: AIS must meet intelligibility, justifiability and accessibility criteria, and must be subjected to democratic scrutiny, debate and control.

Equity: The development and use of AIS must contribute to the creation of a just and equitable society.

Diversity inclusion: The development and use of AIS must be compatible with maintaining social and cultural diversity, and must not restrict the scope of lifestyle choices and personal experience.

Prudence: Every person involved in AIS development must exercise caution by anticipating, as far as possible, the potential adverse consequences of AIS use, and by taking appropriate measures to avoid them.

Responsibility: The development and use of AIS must not contribute to diminishing the responsibility of human beings when decisions must be made.

Sustainable development: The development and use of AIS must be carried out so as to ensure strong environmental sustainability of the planet.

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