Positive utilization of AI means that many social systems will be automated, and the safety of the systems will be improved. On the other hand, within the scope of today's technologies, it is impossible for AI to respond appropriately to rare events or deliberate attacks. Therefore, there is a new security risk for the use of AI. Society should always be aware of the balance of benefits and risks, and should work to improve social safety and sustainability as a whole.
Society must promote broad and deep research and development in AI (from immediate measures to deep understanding), such as the proper evaluation of risks in the utilization of AI and research to reduce risks. Society must also pay attention to risk management, including cybersecurity awareness.
Society should always pay attention to sustainability in the use of AI. Society should not, in particular, be uniquely dependent on single AI or a few specified AI.
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.
VI. Societal and environmental well being
For AI to be trustworthy, its impact on the environment and other sentient beings should be taken into account. Ideally, all humans, including future generations, should benefit from biodiversity and a habitable environment. Sustainability and ecological responsibility of AI systems should hence be encouraged. The same applies to AI solutions addressing areas of global concern, such as for instance the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Furthermore, the impact of AI systems should be considered not only from an individual perspective, but also from the perspective of society as a whole. The use of AI systems should be given careful consideration particularly in situations relating to the democratic process, including opinion formation, political decision making or electoral contexts. Moreover, AI’s social impact should be considered. While AI systems can be used to enhance social skills, they can equally contribute to their deterioration.
1. Be socially beneficial.
The expanded reach of new technologies increasingly touches society as a whole. Advances in AI will have transformative impacts in a wide range of fields, including healthcare, security, energy, transportation, manufacturing, and entertainment. As we consider potential development and uses of AI technologies, we will take into account a broad range of social and economic factors, and will proceed where we believe that the overall likely benefits substantially exceed the foreseeable risks and downsides.
AI also enhances our ability to understand the meaning of content at scale. We will strive to make high quality and accurate information readily available using AI, while continuing to respect cultural, social, and legal norms in the countries where we operate. And we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate when to make our technologies available on a non commercial basis.
Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) research focuses on the realization of AI, which is the enabling of computers to possess intelligence and become capable of learning and acting autonomously. AI will assume a significant role in the future of mankind in a wide range of areas, such as Industry, Medicine, Education, Culture, Economics, Politics, Government, etc. However, it is undeniable that AI technologies can become detrimental to human society or conflict with public interests due to abuse or misuse.
To ensure that AI research and development remains beneficial to human society, AI researchers, as highly specialized professionals, must act ethically and in accordance with their own conscience and acumen. AI researchers must listen attentively to the diverse views of society and learn from it with humility. As technology advances and society develops, AI researchers should consistently strive to develop and deepen their sense of ethics and morality independently.
The Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence (JSAI) hereby formalizes the Ethical Guidelines to be applied by its members. These Ethical Guidelines shall serve as a moral foundation for JSAI members to become better aware of their social responsibilities and encourage effective communications with society. JSAI members shall undertake and comply with these guidelines.