The 7 guiding principles of ethical AI

The 7 guiding principles of ethical AI

There’s uncertainty over how exactly artificial intelligence will impact upon the world, but businesses are beginning to lay down a foundation for the ethical use of this emerging tech. Software company SAP is among the first to create an AI ethics code.

Of course, like any other tool, AI can be used for the benefit of humanity – or to the detriment of it. These seven guiding principles aim to help HR and business leaders embrace AI:

1. Be driven by your values. Your corporate philosophy and commitment to your principles should shape how you deploy AI.

As for SAP: “Where there is a conflict with our principles, we will endeavor to prevent the inappropriate use of our technology.”

2. Design AI for people. Listen to your users. Tech should empower people to be better, and this starts with improving user experience.

“To achieve this, we design our systems closely with users in a collaborative, multidisciplinary, and demographically diverse environment,” the company said.

3. Break free from your bias. Use AI to help you “see” your business clearly and pinpoint trends and patterns in data that you might overlook.

SAP’s Business Beyond Bias tools give you that insight and help you steer clear of potential roadblocks to business.

4. Strive for integrity and transparency in everything you do. Building your customers and employees’ trust requires you to communicate clearly and fully how you are using AI.

“Our systems are held to specific standards in accordance with their level of technical ability and intended usage,” SAP said. “[We] provide means for oversight and control by customers and users.”

5. Uphold quality and safety standards. AI is a tool that benefits from rigorous testing.

SAP recommends subjecting AI-powered software to thorough quality assessments “under real-world scenarios to firmly validate they are fit for purpose and that the product specifications are met.”

6. Uphold data protection and privacy. Businesses should be transparent with users when it comes to how, why, where, and when their data is being used in an AI system.

SAP partners with academics to build the next generation of privacy-enhancing methods and tools.

7. Engage with the wider societal challenges of AI. The discourse on AI encompasses a range of industries and institutions and affects a variety of stakeholders.

“While we have control, to a large extent, over the preceding areas,” SAP said, “there are numerous emerging challenges that require a much broader discourse across industries, disciplines, borders, and cultural, philosophical, and religious traditions.”