Positive utilization of AI means that many social systems will be automated, and the safety of the systems will be improved. On the other hand, within the scope of today's technologies, it is impossible for AI to respond appropriately to rare events or deliberate attacks. Therefore, there is a new security risk for the use of AI. Society should always be aware of the balance of benefits and risks, and should work to improve social safety and sustainability as a whole.
Society must promote broad and deep research and development in AI (from immediate measures to deep understanding), such as the proper evaluation of risks in the utilization of AI and research to reduce risks. Society must also pay attention to risk management, including cybersecurity awareness.
Society should always pay attention to sustainability in the use of AI. Society should not, in particular, be uniquely dependent on single AI or a few specified AI.
Key decisions on the regulation of AI development and application should be the result of democratic debate and public engagement. A spirit of global cooperation and public dialogue on the issue will ensure that they are taken in an inclusive, informed, and farsighted manner. The right to receive education or access information on new technologies and their ethical implications will facilitate that everyone understands risks and opportunities and is empowered to participate in decisional processes that crucially shape our future.
The principles of human dignity and autonomy centrally involve the human right to self determination through the means of democracy. Of key importance to our democratic political systems are value pluralism, diversity and accommodation of a variety of conceptions of the good life of citizens. They must not be jeopardised, subverted or equalised by new technologies that inhibit or influence political decision making and infringe on the freedom of expression and the right to receive and impart information without interference. Digital technologies should rather be used to harness collective intelligence and support and improve the civic processes on which our democratic societies depend.
1. The Principle of Beneficence: “Do Good”
Published by: The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI
AI systems should be designed and developed to improve individual and collective wellbeing. AI systems can do so by generating prosperity, value creation and wealth maximization and sustainability. At the same time, beneficent AI systems can contribute to wellbeing by seeking achievement of a fair, inclusive and peaceful society, by helping to increase citizen’s mental autonomy, with equal distribution of economic, social and political opportunity. AI systems can be a force for collective good when deployed towards objectives like: the protection of democratic process and rule of law; the provision of common goods and services at low cost and high quality; data literacy and representativeness; damage mitigation and trust optimization towards users; achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals or sustainability understood more broadly, according to the pillars of economic development, social equity, and environmental protection. In other words, AI can be a tool to bring more good into the world and or to help with the world’s greatest challenges.
For the first time in human history, it is possible to create autonomous systems capable of performing complex tasks of which natural intelligence alone was thought capable: processing large quantities of information, calculating and predicting, learning and adapting responses to changing situations, and recognizing and classifying objects. Given the immaterial nature of these tasks, and by analogy with human intelligence, we designate these wide ranging systems under the general name of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence constitutes a major form of scientific and technological progress, which can generate considerable social benefits by improving living conditions and health, facilitating justice, creating wealth, bolstering public safety, and mitigating the impact of human activities on the environment and the climate. Intelligent machines are not limited to performing better calculations than human beings; they can also interact with sentient beings, keep them company and take care of them.
However, the development of artificial intelligence does pose major ethical challenges and social risks. Indeed, intelligent machines can restrict the choices of individuals and groups, lower living standards, disrupt the organization of labor and the job market, influence politics, clash with fundamental rights, exacerbate social and economic inequalities, and affect ecosystems, the climate and the environment. Although scientific progress, and living in a society, always carry a risk, it is up to the citizens to determine the moral and political ends that give meaning to the risks encountered in an uncertain world.
The lower the risks of its deployment, the greater the benefits of artificial intelligence will be. The first danger of artificial intelligence development consists in giving the illusion that we can master the future through calculations. Reducing society to a series of numbers and ruling it through algorithmic procedures is an old pipe dream that still drives human ambitions. But when it comes to human affairs, tomorrow rarely resembles today, and numbers cannot determine what has moral value, nor what is socially desirable.
The principles of the current declaration are like points on a moral compass that will help guide the development of artificial intelligence towards morally and socially desirable ends. They also offer an ethical framework that promotes internationally recognized human rights in the fields affected by the rollout of artificial intelligence. Taken as a whole, the principles articulated lay the foundation for cultivating social trust towards artificially intelligent systems.
The principles of the current declaration rest on the common belief that human beings seek to grow as social beings endowed with sensations, thoughts and feelings, and strive to fulfill their potential by freely exercising their emotional, moral and intellectual capacities. It is incumbent on the various public and private stakeholders and policymakers at the local, national and international level to ensure that the development and deployment of artificial intelligence are compatible with the protection of fundamental human capacities and goals, and contribute toward their fuller realization. With this goal in mind, one must interpret the proposed principles in a coherent manner, while taking into account the specific social, cultural, political and legal contexts of their application.
3. Human centric AI
AI should be at the service of society and generate tangible benefits for people. AI systems should always stay under human control and be driven by value based considerations. Telefónica is conscious of the fact that the implementation of AI in our products and services should in no way lead to a negative impact on human rights or the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We are concerned about the potential use of AI for the creation or spreading of fake news, technology addiction, and the potential reinforcement of societal bias in algorithms in general. We commit to working towards avoiding these tendencies to the extent it is within our realm of control.