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.
2. Data Governance
Published by: The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI
The quality of the data sets used is paramount for the performance of the trained machine learning solutions. Even if the data is handled in a privacy preserving way, there are requirements that have to be fulfilled in order to have high quality AI. The datasets gathered inevitably contain biases, and one has to be able to prune these away before engaging in training. This may also be done in the training itself by requiring a symmetric behaviour over known issues in the training set.
In addition, it must be ensured that the proper division of the data which is being set into training, as well as validation and testing of those sets, is carefully conducted in order to achieve a realistic picture of the performance of the AI system. It must particularly be ensured that anonymisation of the data is done in a way that enables the division of the data into sets to make sure that a certain data – for instance, images from same persons – do not end up into both the training and test sets, as this would disqualify the latter.
The integrity of the data gathering has to be ensured. Feeding malicious data into the system may change the behaviour of the AI solutions. This is especially important for self learning systems. It is therefore advisable to always keep record of the data that is fed to the AI systems. When data is gathered from human behaviour, it may contain misjudgement, errors and mistakes. In large enough data sets these will be diluted since correct actions usually overrun the errors, yet a trace of thereof remains in the data.
To trust the data gathering process, it must be ensured that such data will not be used against the individuals who provided the data. Instead, the findings of bias should be used to look forward and lead to better processes and instructions – improving our decisions making and strengthening our institutions.
3. Artificial intelligence should not be used to diminish the data rights or privacy of individuals, families or communities.
Published by: House of Lords, Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence in AI Code
Many of the hopes and the fears presently associated with AI are out of step with reality. The public and policymakers alike have a responsibility to understand the capabilities and limitations of this technology as it becomes an increasing part of our daily lives. This will require an awareness of when and where this technology is being deployed.
Access to large quantities of data is one of the factors fuelling the current AI boom. The ways in which data is gathered and accessed need to be reconsidered, so that innovative companies, big and small, have fair and reasonable access to data, while citizens and consumers can also protect their privacy and personal agency in this changing world.
Large companies which have control over vast quantities of data must be prevented from becoming overly powerful within this landscape. We call on the Government, with the Competition and Markets Authority, to review proactively the use and potential monopolisation of data by big technology companies operating in the UK.
AI has arrived, and it is a technology that has the potential to change the world as we know it so far.
It is technology that, with its development has the ability to generate an infinite amount of benefits and improve the quality of life of humanity. Similarly, AI opens the way to risky situations and raises questions about their use and their effects. At this point, it appears necessary to incorporate the ethical dimension to illuminate the development of AI, and make distinctions of its correct or incorrect use.
At IA Latam, we collaboratively understand the creation of ethical criteria of self adherence that help us and guide all of us to follow the best possible path, always having as a north a better planet for the new generations.
As the technologies advance, the ethical ramifications will be more relevant, where the conversation is no longer based on a "fulfill" but rather on a "we are doing the right thing and getting better". For this reason, in IA LATAM we present below our first Declaration of Ethical Principles for Latin American AI that we hope will be a starting point and a great help for all.
2. Transparent and explainable AI
We will be explicit about the kind of personal and or non personal data the AI systems uses as well as about the purpose the data is used for. When people directly interact with an AI system, we will be transparent to the users that this is the case.
When AI systems take, or support, decisions we take the technical and organizational measures required to guarantee a level of understanding adequate to the application area. In any case, if the decisions significantly affect people's lives, we will ensure we understand the logic behind the conclusions. This will also apply when we use third party technology.