(b) Autonomy

The principle of autonomy implies the freedom of the human being. This translates into human responsibility and thus control over and knowledge about ‘autonomous’ systems as they must not impair freedom of human beings to set their own standards and norms and be able to live according to them. All ‘autonomous’ technologies must, hence, honour the human ability to choose whether, when and how to delegate decisions and actions to them. This also involves the transparency and predictability of ‘autonomous’ systems, without which users would not be able to intervene or terminate them if they would consider this morally required.
Principle: Ethical principles and democratic prerequisites, Mar 9, 2018

Published by European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, European Commission

Related Principles

I. Human agency and oversight

AI systems should support individuals in making better, more informed choices in accordance with their goals. They should act as enablers to a flourishing and equitable society by supporting human agency and fundamental rights, and not decrease, limit or misguide human autonomy. The overall wellbeing of the user should be central to the system's functionality. Human oversight helps ensuring that an AI system does not undermine human autonomy or causes other adverse effects. Depending on the specific AI based system and its application area, the appropriate degrees of control measures, including the adaptability, accuracy and explainability of AI based systems, should be ensured. Oversight may be achieved through governance mechanisms such as ensuring a human in the loop, human on the loop, or human in command approach. It must be ensured that public authorities have the ability to exercise their oversight powers in line with their mandates. All other things being equal, the less oversight a human can exercise over an AI system, the more extensive testing and stricter governance is required.

Published by European Commission in Key requirements for trustworthy AI, Apr 8, 2019

(a) Human dignity

The principle of human dignity, understood as the recognition of the inherent human state of being worthy of respect, must not be violated by ‘autonomous’ technologies. This means, for instance, that there are limits to determinations and classifications concerning persons, made on the basis of algorithms and ‘autonomous’ systems, especially when those affected by them are not informed about them. It also implies that there have to be (legal) limits to the ways in which people can be led to believe that they are dealing with human beings while in fact they are dealing with algorithms and smart machines. A relational conception of human dignity which is characterised by our social relations, requires that we are aware of whether and when we are interacting with a machine or another human being, and that we reserve the right to vest certain tasks to the human or the machine.

Published by European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, European Commission in Ethical principles and democratic prerequisites, Mar 9, 2018

Responsible Deployment

Principle: The capacity of an AI agent to act autonomously, and to adapt its behavior over time without human direction, calls for significant safety checks before deployment, and ongoing monitoring. Recommendations: Humans must be in control: Any autonomous system must allow for a human to interrupt an activity or shutdown the system (an “off switch”). There may also be a need to incorporate human checks on new decision making strategies in AI system design, especially where the risk to human life and safety is great. Make safety a priority: Any deployment of an autonomous system should be extensively tested beforehand to ensure the AI agent’s safe interaction with its environment (digital or physical) and that it functions as intended. Autonomous systems should be monitored while in operation, and updated or corrected as needed. Privacy is key: AI systems must be data responsible. They should use only what they need and delete it when it is no longer needed (“data minimization”). They should encrypt data in transit and at rest, and restrict access to authorized persons (“access control”). AI systems should only collect, use, share and store data in accordance with privacy and personal data laws and best practices. Think before you act: Careful thought should be given to the instructions and data provided to AI systems. AI systems should not be trained with data that is biased, inaccurate, incomplete or misleading. If they are connected, they must be secured: AI systems that are connected to the Internet should be secured not only for their protection, but also to protect the Internet from malfunctioning or malware infected AI systems that could become the next generation of botnets. High standards of device, system and network security should be applied. Responsible disclosure: Security researchers acting in good faith should be able to responsibly test the security of AI systems without fear of prosecution or other legal action. At the same time, researchers and others who discover security vulnerabilities or other design flaws should responsibly disclose their findings to those who are in the best position to fix the problem.

Published by Internet Society, "Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Policy Paper" in Guiding Principles and Recommendations, Apr 18, 2017

2. Autonomy

[QUESTIONS] How can AI contribute to greater autonomy for human beings? Must we fight against the phenomenon of attention seeking which has accompanied advances in AI? Should we be worried that humans prefer the company of AI to that of other humans or animals? Can someone give informed consent when faced with increasingly complex autonomous technologies? Must we limit the autonomy of intelligent computer systems? Should a human always make the final decision? [PRINCIPLES] ​The development of AI should promote the autonomy of all human beings and control, in a responsible way, the autonomy of computer systems.

Published by University of Montreal, Forum on the Socially Responsible Development of AI in The Montreal Declaration for a Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence, Nov 3, 2017

5 DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION PRINCIPLE

AIS must meet intelligibility, justifiability, and accessibility criteria, and must be subjected to democratic scrutiny, debate, and control. 1) AIS processes that make decisions affecting a person’s life, quality of life, or reputation must be intelligible to their creators. 2) The decisions made by AIS affecting a person’s life, quality of life, or reputation should always be justifiable in a language that is understood by the people who use them or who are subjected to the consequences of their use. Justification consists in making transparent the most important factors and parameters shaping the decision, and should take the same form as the justification we would demand of a human making the same kind of decision. 3) The code for algorithms, whether public or private, must always be accessible to the relevant public authorities and stakeholders for verification and control purposes. 4) The discovery of AIS operating errors, unexpected or undesirable effects, security breaches, and data leaks must imperatively be reported to the relevant public authorities, stakeholders, and those affected by the situation. 5) In accordance with the transparency requirement for public decisions, the code for decision making algorithms used by public authorities must be accessible to all, with the exception of algorithms that present a high risk of serious danger if misused. 6) For public AIS that have a significant impact on the life of citizens, citizens should have the opportunity and skills to deliberate on the social parameters of these AIS, their objectives, and the limits of their use. 7) We must at all times be able to verify that AIS are doing what they were programmed for and what they are used for. 8) Any person using a service should know if a decision concerning them or affecting them was made by an AIS. 9) Any user of a service employing chatbots should be able to easily identify whether they are interacting with an AIS or a real person. 10) Artificial intelligence research should remain open and accessible to all.

Published by University of Montreal in The Montreal Declaration for a Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence, Dec 4, 2018