As AI increasingly changes the nature of work, workers, customers and vendors need to have information about how AI systems operate so that they can understand how decisions are made. Their involvement will help to identify potential bias, errors and unintended outcomes. Transparency is not necessarily nor only a question of open source code. While in some circumstances open source code will be helpful, what is more important are clear, complete and testable explanations of what the system is doing and why. Intellectual property, and sometimes even cyber security, is rewarded by a lack of transparency. Innovation generally, including in algorithms, is a value that should be encouraged. How, then, are these competing values to be balanced? One possibility is to require algorithmic verifiability rather than full algorithmic disclosure. Algorithmic verifiability would require companies to disclose not the actual code driving the algorithm but information allowing the effect of their algorithms to be independently assessed. In the absence of transparency regarding their algorithms’ purpose and actual effect, it is impossible to ensure that competition, labour, workplace safety, privacy and liability laws are being upheld. When accidents occur, the AI and related data will need to be transparent and accountable to an accident investigator, so that the process that led to the accident can be understood.
The traceability of AI systems should be ensured; it is important to log and document both the decisions made by the systems, as well as the entire process (including a description of data gathering and labelling, and a description of the algorithm used) that yielded the decisions. Linked to this, explainability of the algorithmic decision making process, adapted to the persons involved, should be provided to the extent possible. Ongoing research to develop explainability mechanisms should be pursued. In addition, explanations of the degree to which an AI system influences and shapes the organisational decision making process, design choices of the system, as well as the rationale for deploying it, should be available (hence ensuring not just data and system transparency, but also business model transparency).
Finally, it is important to adequately communicate the AI system’s capabilities and limitations to the different stakeholders involved in a manner appropriate to the use case at hand. Moreover, AI systems should be identifiable as such, ensuring that users know they are interacting with an AI system and which persons are responsible for it.
Published by: The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI
Trustworthy AI requires that algorithms are secure, reliable as well as robust enough to deal with errors or inconsistencies during the design, development, execution, deployment and use phase of the AI system, and to adequately cope with erroneous outcomes.
Reliability & Reproducibility. Trustworthiness requires that the accuracy of results can be confirmed and reproduced by independent evaluation. However, the complexity, non determinism and opacity of many AI systems, together with sensitivity to training model building conditions, can make it difficult to reproduce results. Currently there is an increased awareness within the AI research community that reproducibility is a critical requirement in the field. Reproducibility is essential to guarantee that results are consistent across different situations, computational frameworks and input data. The lack of reproducibility can lead to unintended discrimination in AI decisions.
Accuracy. Accuracy pertains to an AI’s confidence and ability to correctly classify information into the correct categories, or its ability to make correct predictions, recommendations, or decisions based on data or models. An explicit and well formed development and evaluation process can support, mitigate and correct unintended risks.
Resilience to Attack. AI systems, like all software systems, can include vulnerabilities that can allow them to be exploited by adversaries. Hacking is an important case of intentional harm, by which the system will purposefully follow a different course of action than its original purpose. If an AI system is attacked, the data as well as system behaviour can be changed, leading the system to make different decisions, or causing the system to shut down altogether. Systems and or data can also become corrupted, by malicious intention or by exposure to unexpected situations. Poor governance, by which it becomes possible to intentionally or unintentionally tamper with the data, or grant access to the algorithms to unauthorised entities, can also result in discrimination, erroneous decisions, or even physical harm.
Fall back plan. A secure AI has safeguards that enable a fall back plan in case of problems with the AI system. In some cases this can mean that the AI system switches from statistical to rule based procedure, in other cases it means that the system asks for a human operator before continuing the action.
4. Principle 4 — Transparency
Issue: How can we ensure that A IS are transparent?
Develop new standards* that describe measurable, testable levels of transparency, so that systems can be objectively assessed and levels of compliance determined. For designers, such standards will provide a guide for self assessing transparency during development and suggest mechanisms for improving transparency. (The mechanisms by which transparency is provided will vary significantly, for instance 1) for users of care or domestic robots, a why did you do that button which, when pressed, causes the robot to explain the action it just took, 2) for validation or certification agencies, the algorithms underlying the A IS and how they have been verified, and 3) for accident investigators, secure storage of sensor and internal state data, comparable to a flight data recorder or black box.)
*Note that IEEE Standards Working Group P7001™ has been set up in response to this recommendation.
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.