In society premised on AI, it is possible to estimate each person’s political position, economic situation, hobbies preferences, etc. with high accuracy from data on the data subject’s personal behavior. This means, when utilizing AI, that more careful treatment of personal data is necessary than simply utilizing personal information. To ensure that people are not suffered disadvantages from unexpected sharing or utilization of personal data through the internet for instance, each stakeholder must handle personal data based on the following principles.
Companies or government should not infringe individual person’s freedom, dignity and equality in utilization of personal data with AI technologies.
AI that uses personal data should have a mechanism that ensures accuracy and legitimacy and enable the person herself himself to be substantially involved in the management of her his privacy data. As a result, when using the AI, people can provide personal data without concerns and effectively benefit from the data they provide.
Personal data must be properly protected according to its importance and sensitivity. Personal data varies from those unjust use of which would be likely to greatly affect rights and benefits of individuals (Typically thought and creed, medical history, criminal record, etc.) to those that are semi public in social life. Taking this into consideration, we have to pay enough attention to the balance between the use and protection of personal data based on the common understanding of society and the cultural background.
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) Research Funding
Published by: Future of Life Institute (FLI), Beneficial AI 2017 in Asilomar AI Principles
Investments in AI should be accompanied by funding for research on ensuring its beneficial use, including thorny questions in computer science, economics, law, ethics, and social studies, such as:
How can we make future AI systems highly robust, so that they do what we want without malfunctioning or getting hacked?
How can we grow our prosperity through automation while maintaining people’s resources and purpose?
How can we update our legal systems to be more fair and efficient, to keep pace with AI, and to manage the risks associated with AI?
What set of values should AI be aligned with, and what legal and ethical status should it have?
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.
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.
3 PROTECTION OF PRIVACY AND INTIMACY PRINCIPLE
Privacy and intimacy must be protected from AIS intrusion and data acquisition and archiving systems (DAAS).
1) Personal spaces in which people are not subjected to surveillance or digital evaluation must be protected from the intrusion of AIS and data acquisition and archiving systems (DAAS).
2) The intimacy of thoughts and emotions must be strictly protected from AIS and DAAS uses capable of causing harm, especially uses that impose moral judgments on people or their lifestyle choices.
3) People must always have the right to digital disconnection in their private lives, and AIS should explicitly offer the option to disconnect at regular intervals, without encouraging people to stay connected.
4) People must have extensive control over information regarding their preferences. AIS must not create individual preference proﬁles to inﬂuence the behavior of the individuals without their free and informed consent.
5) DAAS must guarantee data conﬁdentiality and personal proﬁle anonymity.
6) Every person must be able to exercise extensive control over their personal data, especially when it comes to its collection, use, and dissemination. Access to AIS and digital services by individuals must not be made conditional on their abandoning control or ownership of their personal data.
7) Individuals should be free to donate their personal data to research organizations in order to contribute to the advancement of knowledge.
8) The integrity of one’s personal identity must be guaranteed. AIS must not be used to imitate or alter a person’s appearance, voice, or other individual characteristics in order to damage one’s reputation or manipulate other people.