tisdag 9 april 2019

The European Commission's Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI

In January I commented on a draft version of the Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI prepared by the European Commission's High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on AI. The final version of the Guidelines was officially released yesterday.

I strongly recommend the candid and sincere reflections on the Guidelines by HLEG member Thomas Metzinger in an op-ed in Der Tagesspiegel. Thomas and I collaborated a bit on preparing some writings in the Guidelines (albeit unsuccessfully as regards what actually ended up in the final version) towards the end of HLEG's work on them. I share his disappointment about how the Guidelines turned out, and I agree with his remarks about "ethical white-washing" and how "industry organizes and cultivates ethical debates to buy time – to distract the public and to prevent or at least delay effective regulation and policy-making", as well as with his balanced statements that the Guidelines are "a compromise of which I am not proud, but which is nevertheless the best in the world on the subject. The United States and China have nothing comparable" and that
    their legal anchoring in European fundamental values is excellent, and the first selection of abstract ethical principles is at least acceptable. Only the genuine normative substance at the level of long-term risks, concrete applications, and case studies has been destroyed.
In the final paragraphs of the op-ed Thomas emphasizes the urgency of the situation:
    The first step is good. But it is high time that universities and civil society recapture the process and take the self-organized discussion out of the hands of industry.

    Everyone is feeling it: We are in a rapid historical transition that is taking place at many levels simultaneously. The window of opportunity within which we can at least partially control the future of AI and effectively defend the philosophical and ethical foundations of European culture will close in a few years' time. We must act now.

2 kommentarer:

  1. Bra läsning!

    Framförallt som exempel på vad som skulle kunna vara i diskussionen om red lines. Detta ska vi rakt av inte göra.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in English and making available the "behind the scenes" discussions of such important document