AI is expected to contribute to the realization of Society 5.0 significantly. We consider it to be important not only to deliver many benefits of AI to people and society, derived from its efficiency and convenience, but to utilize AI as public goods of human beings as a whole and to ensure the global sustainability described in SDGs, through qualitative changes generated by genuine innovations toward the ideal society.
We consider it to be essential to respect the following three values as philosophy to be pursued to be realized in coming society.
(1) Human centric
Utilization of AI should not infringe upon fundamental human rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution and international norms.
AI should be developed and utilized and implemented in society to expand the abilities of people and to pursue the diverse concepts of happiness of diverse people. In the AI utilized society, it is desirable that we implement appropriate mechanisms of literacy education and promotion of proper uses, so as not to over depend on AI or not to ill manipulate human decisions by exploiting AI.
AI can expand human abilities and creativity not only by replacing part of human task but also by assisting human as an advanced instrument.
When using AI, people must judge and decide for themselves how to use AI. Appropriate stakeholders involved in the development, provision, and utilization of AI should be responsible for the result of AI utilization, depending on the nature of the issue.
In order to avoid creating digital divide and allow all people to reap the benefit of AI regardless of their digital expertise, each stakeholder should take into consideration to user friendliness of the system in the process of AI deployment.
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. The Principle of Non maleficence: “Do no Harm”
Published by: The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI
AI systems should not harm human beings. By design, AI systems should protect the dignity, integrity, liberty, privacy, safety, and security of human beings in society and at work. AI systems should not threaten the democratic process, freedom of expression, freedoms of identify, or the possibility to refuse AI services. At the very least, AI systems should not be designed in a way that enhances existing harms or creates new harms for individuals. Harms can be physical, psychological, financial or social. AI specific harms may stem from the treatment of data on individuals (i.e. how it is collected, stored, used, etc.). To avoid harm, data collected and used for training of AI algorithms must be done in a way that avoids discrimination, manipulation, or negative profiling. Of equal importance, AI systems should be developed and implemented in a way that protects societies from ideological polarization and algorithmic determinism.
Vulnerable demographics (e.g. children, minorities, disabled persons, elderly persons, or immigrants) should receive greater attention to the prevention of harm, given their unique status in society. Inclusion and diversity are key ingredients for the prevention of harm to ensure suitability of these systems across cultures, genders, ages, life choices, etc. Therefore not only should AI be designed with the impact on various vulnerable demographics in mind but the above mentioned demographics should have a place in the design process (rather through testing, validating, or other).
Avoiding harm may also be viewed in terms of harm to the environment and animals, thus the development of environmentally friendly AI may be considered part of the principle of avoiding harm. The Earth’s resources can be valued in and of themselves or as a resource for humans to consume. In either case it is necessary to ensure that the research, development, and use of AI are done with an eye towards environmental awareness.
How can AI contribute to greater autonomy for human beings?
Must we fight against the phenomenon of attention seeking which has accompanied advances in AI?
Should we be worried that humans prefer the company of AI to that of other humans or animals?
Can someone give informed consent when faced with increasingly complex autonomous technologies?
Must we limit the autonomy of intelligent computer systems? Should a human always make the final decision?
The development of AI should promote the autonomy of all human beings and control, in a responsible way, the autonomy of computer systems.