On June 11-12, NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (NATO StartCom COE) organised Riga Startcom Dialogue 2019. ICT Legal CEO Dr.iur. Irena Nesterova moderated a discussion “Beyond intelligence: how to make AI accountable?”
The panel adressed the challenges, risks, and opportunities posed by AI technologies. How to maximise the benefits of AI while at the same time preventing and minimising their risks? How to ensure AI systems serve the public good? How to make AI accountable? What role AI ethical standarts and regulation play? How to achieve such ethical standards as transparency, explainability and human control? These and many other questions were discussed by AI experts Tim Hwang, Director of the Harvard-MIT Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative, Maciej Surowiec, EU Government Affairs Manager at Microsoft, Károly Zsolnai-Fehér, a doctoral researcher at the Vienna University of Technology and Elgars Goba, Director of the Services Systems department at LMT.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform society and bring great benefits in many areas, e.g. health care transportation, communication, safety and national security. Moreover, it can help to achieve Sustainable Development Goals such as providing access to clean water and reducing financial inequality.
However, AI also rises serious challenges to humanity. A lot of what is most concerning is happening in the military and security spheres. So-called weaponised AI and killer robots have attracted most attention. There is a wide discussion going on whether certain use of AI should be prohibited. In May, San Francisko was the first US city to ban the use of AI based facial recognision technology by police and government agencies. There is huge criticism of the over-abusive use of this technology also in the EU. There are a lot of other challenges we are facing right now the adverse consequences of which we already can see, such as the abuse of AI for political propaganda and the manipulation of users’ behavior. Another challenge is AI based state surveillance in combination with the path of surveillance capitalism that Google and Facebook are taking us down.
Artificial intelligence ethical standards and regulation
There have been adopted a vast amount of initiatives on AI all around the world. Many countries have issued their strategies on AI. Various private sector organisations and companies have also adopted various kinds of declarations on AI ethics. In May, OECD has also adopted Principles on Artificial Intelligence. New AI guidelines havere cently been adopted on EU level by the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG) which is set up by the European Commission and comprises 52 AI experts from academia, civil society, as well as industry.
In April, AI HLEG adopted Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to the guidelines, trustworthy AI should be:
- Lawful – respecting all applicable laws and regulations
- Ethical – respecting ethical principles and values
- Robust – both from a technical perspective while taking into account its social environment
The guidelines put forward a set of 7 key requirements that AI systems should meet in order to be deemed trustworthy:
- Human agency and oversight
- Technical Robustness and safety
- Privacy and data governance
- Diversity, non-discrimination and fairness
- Societal and environmental well-being
The Guidelines also provides a concrete Trustworthy AI assessment list aimed at operationalising these key requirements.
In June, AI HLEG adopted Policy and Investment Recommendations for Trustworthy AI which contains 33 recommendations at 8 impact areas:
- Empowering and Protecting Humans and Society
- Transforming Europe’s Private Sector
- Europe’s Public Sector as a Catalyst of Sustainable Growth and Innovation
- Ensuring World-Class Research Capabilities
- Building Data and Infrastructure for AI
- Generating appropriate Skills and Education for AI
- Establishing an appropriate governance and regulatory framework
- Raising Funding and Investment
How to maximise the benefits of AI systems while at the same time ensure trustworthy and accountable AI is the key question in the arriving new technology wave of AI.
Watch the discussion ‘Beyond intelligence: how to make AI accountable’ here