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.
2. The Principle of Non maleficence: “Do no Harm”
Published by: The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI
AI systems should not harm human beings. By design, AI systems should protect the dignity, integrity, liberty, privacy, safety, and security of human beings in society and at work. AI systems should not threaten the democratic process, freedom of expression, freedoms of identify, or the possibility to refuse AI services. At the very least, AI systems should not be designed in a way that enhances existing harms or creates new harms for individuals. Harms can be physical, psychological, financial or social. AI specific harms may stem from the treatment of data on individuals (i.e. how it is collected, stored, used, etc.). To avoid harm, data collected and used for training of AI algorithms must be done in a way that avoids discrimination, manipulation, or negative profiling. Of equal importance, AI systems should be developed and implemented in a way that protects societies from ideological polarization and algorithmic determinism.
Vulnerable demographics (e.g. children, minorities, disabled persons, elderly persons, or immigrants) should receive greater attention to the prevention of harm, given their unique status in society. Inclusion and diversity are key ingredients for the prevention of harm to ensure suitability of these systems across cultures, genders, ages, life choices, etc. Therefore not only should AI be designed with the impact on various vulnerable demographics in mind but the above mentioned demographics should have a place in the design process (rather through testing, validating, or other).
Avoiding harm may also be viewed in terms of harm to the environment and animals, thus the development of environmentally friendly AI may be considered part of the principle of avoiding harm. The Earth’s resources can be valued in and of themselves or as a resource for humans to consume. In either case it is necessary to ensure that the research, development, and use of AI are done with an eye towards environmental awareness.
7. Principle of ethics
Published by: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), the Government of Japan in AI R&D Principles
Developers should respect human dignity and individual autonomy in R&D of AI systems.
It is encouraged that, when developing AI systems that link with the human brain and body, developers pay particularly due consideration to respecting human dignity and individual autonomy, in light of discussions on bioethics, etc.
It is also encouraged that, to the extent possible in light of the characteristics of the technologies to be adopted, developers make efforts to take necessary measures so as not to cause unfair discrimination resulting from prejudice included in the learning data of the AI systems.
It is advisable that developers take precautions to ensure that AI systems do not unduly infringe the value of humanity, based on the International Human Rights Law and the International Humanitarian Law.
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?
The development of AI should promote the autonomy of all human beings and control, in a responsible way, the autonomy of computer systems.
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.