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.
1. We are responsible.
The human always remains responsible. Our solutions come with a clear definition of who is responsible for which AI system or feature. We are in charge of our products and services. And, we know who is in charge for partner or third party solutions.
With AI technology being in its infancy, we are aware of our responsibility in development – from the very beginning. We make sure that we clarify which initiative or product owner has which responsibilities. For partners or third parties, we define clear guidelines for when a partnership can be established. And, we declare which duties are connected to the respective AI parts.
4. All citizens have the right to be educated to enable them to flourish mentally, emotionally and economically alongside artificial intelligence.
Published by: House of Lords, Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence in AI Code
We welcome the measures to increase the number of computer science teachers in secondary schools and we urge the Government to ensure that there is support for teachers with associated skills and subjects such as mathematics to retrain. At earlier stages of education, children need to be adequately prepared for working with, and using, AI. For all children, the basic knowledge and understanding necessary to navigate an AI driven world will be essential.
AI will have significant implications for the ways in which society lives and works. AI may accelerate the digital disruption in the jobs market. Many jobs will be enhanced by AI, many will disappear and many new, as yet unknown jobs, will be created. A significant Government investment in skills and training is needed if this disruption is to be navigated successfully and to the benefit of the working population and national productivity growth.
1. The purpose of AI is to augment human intelligence
The purpose of AI and cognitive systems developed and applied by IBM is to augment – not replace – human intelligence. Our technology is and will be designed to enhance and extend human capability and potential. At IBM, we believe AI should make ALL of us better at our jobs, and that the benefits of the AI era should touch the many, not just the elite few. To that end, we are investing in initiatives to help the global workforce gain the skills needed to work in partnership with these technologies.
1. We are driven by our values
We recognize that, like with any technology, there is scope for AI to be used in ways that are not aligned with these guiding principles and the operational guidelines we are developing. In developing AI software we will remain true to our Human Rights Commitment Statement, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, laws, and widely accepted international norms. Wherever necessary, our AI Ethics Steering Committee will serve to advise our teams on how specific use cases are affected by these guiding principles. Where there is a conflict with our principles, we will endeavor to prevent the inappropriate use of our technology.