Two of Deutsche Telekom’s most important goals are to keep being a trusted companion and to enhance customer experience.
We see it as our responsibility as one of the leading ICT companies in Europe to foster the development of “intelligent technologies”. At least either important, these technologies, such as AI, must follow predefined ethical rules.
To define a corresponding ethical framework, firstly it needs a common understanding on what AI means. Today there are several definitions of AI, like the very first one of John McCarthy (1956) “Every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.” In line with other companies and main players in the field of AI we at DT think of AI as the imitation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning, reasoning, and self correction.
After several decades, Artificial Intelligence has become one of the most intriguing topics of today – and the future. It has become widespread available and is discussed not only among experts but also more and more in public, politics, etc.. AI has started to influence business (new market opportunities as well as efficiency driver), society (e.g. broad discussion about autonomously driving vehicles or AI as “job machine” vs. “job killer”) and the life of each individual (AI already found its way into the living room, e.g. with voice steered digital assistants like smart speakers).
But the use of AI and its possibilities confront us not only with fast developing technologies but as well as with the fact that our ethical roadmaps, based on human human interactions, might not be sufficient in this new era of technological influence. New questions arise and situations that were not imaginable in our daily lives then emerge.
We as DT also want to develop and make use of AI. This technology can bring many benefits based on improving customer experience or simplicity. We are already in the game, e.g having several AI related projects running. With these comes an increase of digital responsibility on our side to ensure that AI is utilized in an ethical manner. So we as DT have to give answers to our customers, shareholders and stakeholders.
The following Digital Ethics guidelines state how we as Deutsche Telekom want to build the future with AI. For us, technology serves one main purpose: It must act supportingly. Thus AI is in any case supposed to extend and complement human abilities rather than lessen them.
Remark: The impact of AI on DT jobs – may it as a benefit and for value creation in the sense of job enrichment and enlargement or may it in the sense of efficiency is however not focus of these guidelines.
9. We share and enlighten.
We acknowledge the transformative power of AI for our society. We will support people and society in preparing for this future world. We live our digital responsibility by sharing our knowledge, pointing out the opportunities of the new technology without neglecting its risks. We will engage with our customers, other companies, policy makers, education institutions and all other stakeholders to ensure we understand their concerns and needs and can setup the right safeguards. We will engage in AI and ethics education. Hereby preparing ourselves, our colleagues and our fellow human beings for the new tasks ahead.
Many tasks that are being executed by humans now will be automated in the future. This leads to a shift in the demand of skills. Jobs will be reshaped, rather replaced by AI. While this seems certain, the minority knows what exactly AI technology is capable of achieving. Prejudice and sciolism lead to either demonization of progress or to blind acknowledgment, both calling for educational work. We as Deutsche Telekom feel responsible to enlighten people and help society to deal with the digital shift, so that new appropriate skills can be developed and new jobs can be taken over. And we start from within – by enabling our colleagues and employees. But we are aware that this task cannot be solved by one company alone. Therefore we will engage in partnerships with other companies, offer our know how to policy makers and education providers to jointly tackle the challenges ahead.
4. All citizens have the right to be educated to enable them to flourish mentally, emotionally and economically alongside artificial intelligence.
Published by: House of Lords, Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence in AI Code
We welcome the measures to increase the number of computer science teachers in secondary schools and we urge the Government to ensure that there is support for teachers with associated skills and subjects such as mathematics to retrain. At earlier stages of education, children need to be adequately prepared for working with, and using, AI. For all children, the basic knowledge and understanding necessary to navigate an AI driven world will be essential.
AI will have significant implications for the ways in which society lives and works. AI may accelerate the digital disruption in the jobs market. Many jobs will be enhanced by AI, many will disappear and many new, as yet unknown jobs, will be created. A significant Government investment in skills and training is needed if this disruption is to be navigated successfully and to the benefit of the working population and national productivity growth.
Published by: Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) in AI Policy Principles
There is concern that AI will result in job change, job loss, and or worker displacement. While these concerns are understandable, it should be noted that most emerging AI technologies are designed to perform a specific task and assist rather than replace human employees. This type of augmented intelligence means that a portion, but most likely not all, of an employee’s job could be replaced or made easier by AI. While the full impact of AI on jobs is not yet fully known, in terms of both jobs created and displaced, an ability to adapt to rapid technological change is critical. We should leverage traditional human centered resources as well as new career educational models and newly developed AI technologies to assist both the existing workforce and future workforce in successfully navigating career development and job transitions. Additionally, we must have PPPs that significantly improve the delivery and effectiveness of lifelong career education and learning, inclusive of workforce adjustment programs. We must also prioritize the availability of job driven training to meet the scale of need, targeting resources to programs that produce strong results.
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.