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.
Principle: Key requirements for trustworthy AI, Apr 8, 2019

Published by European Commission

Related Principles

Human, social and environmental wellbeing

Throughout their lifecycle, AI systems should benefit individuals, society and the environment. This principle aims to clearly indicate from the outset that AI systems should be used for beneficial outcomes for individuals, society and the environment. AI system objectives should be clearly identified and justified. AI systems that help address areas of global concern should be encouraged, like the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Ideally, AI systems should be used to benefit all human beings, including future generations. AI systems designed for legitimate internal business purposes, like increasing efficiency, can have broader impacts on individual, social and environmental wellbeing. Those impacts, both positive and negative, should be accounted for throughout the AI system's lifecycle, including impacts outside the organisation.

Published by Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australian Government in AI Ethics Principles, Nov 7, 2019

· (4) Security

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.

Published by Cabinet Office, Government of Japan in Social Principles of Human-centric AI, Dec 27, 2018

· 2. The Principle of Non maleficence: “Do no Harm”

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.

Published by The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, Dec 18, 2018

· Proportionality and Do No Harm

25. It should be recognized that AI technologies do not necessarily, per se, ensure human and environmental and ecosystem flourishing. Furthermore, none of the processes related to the AI system life cycle shall exceed what is necessary to achieve legitimate aims or objectives and should be appropriate to the context. In the event of possible occurrence of any harm to human beings, human rights and fundamental freedoms, communities and society at large or the environment and ecosystems, the implementation of procedures for risk assessment and the adoption of measures in order to preclude the occurrence of such harm should be ensured. 26. The choice to use AI systems and which AI method to use should be justified in the following ways: (a) the AI method chosen should be appropriate and proportional to achieve a given legitimate aim; (b) the AI method chosen should not infringe upon the foundational values captured in this document, in particular, its use must not violate or abuse human rights; and (c) the AI method should be appropriate to the context and should be based on rigorous scientific foundations. In scenarios where decisions are understood to have an impact that is irreversible or difficult to reverse or may involve life and death decisions, final human determination should apply. In particular, AI systems should not be used for social scoring or mass surveillance purposes.

Published by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in The Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, Nov 24, 2021

· Transparency and explainability

37. The transparency and explainability of AI systems are often essential preconditions to ensure the respect, protection and promotion of human rights, fundamental freedoms and ethical principles. Transparency is necessary for relevant national and international liability regimes to work effectively. A lack of transparency could also undermine the possibility of effectively challenging decisions based on outcomes produced by AI systems and may thereby infringe the right to a fair trial and effective remedy, and limits the areas in which these systems can be legally used. 38. While efforts need to be made to increase transparency and explainability of AI systems, including those with extra territorial impact, throughout their life cycle to support democratic governance, the level of transparency and explainability should always be appropriate to the context and impact, as there may be a need to balance between transparency and explainability and other principles such as privacy, safety and security. People should be fully informed when a decision is informed by or is made on the basis of AI algorithms, including when it affects their safety or human rights, and in those circumstances should have the opportunity to request explanatory information from the relevant AI actor or public sector institutions. In addition, individuals should be able to access the reasons for a decision affecting their rights and freedoms, and have the option of making submissions to a designated staff member of the private sector company or public sector institution able to review and correct the decision. AI actors should inform users when a product or service is provided directly or with the assistance of AI systems in a proper and timely manner. 39. From a socio technical lens, greater transparency contributes to more peaceful, just, democratic and inclusive societies. It allows for public scrutiny that can decrease corruption and discrimination, and can also help detect and prevent negative impacts on human rights. Transparency aims at providing appropriate information to the respective addressees to enable their understanding and foster trust. Specific to the AI system, transparency can enable people to understand how each stage of an AI system is put in place, appropriate to the context and sensitivity of the AI system. It may also include insight into factors that affect a specific prediction or decision, and whether or not appropriate assurances (such as safety or fairness measures) are in place. In cases of serious threats of adverse human rights impacts, transparency may also require the sharing of code or datasets. 40. Explainability refers to making intelligible and providing insight into the outcome of AI systems. The explainability of AI systems also refers to the understandability of the input, output and the functioning of each algorithmic building block and how it contributes to the outcome of the systems. Thus, explainability is closely related to transparency, as outcomes and ub processes leading to outcomes should aim to be understandable and traceable, appropriate to the context. AI actors should commit to ensuring that the algorithms developed are explainable. In the case of AI applications that impact the end user in a way that is not temporary, easily reversible or otherwise low risk, it should be ensured that the meaningful explanation is provided with any decision that resulted in the action taken in order for the outcome to be considered transparent. 41. Transparency and explainability relate closely to adequate responsibility and accountability measures, as well as to the trustworthiness of AI systems.

Published by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in The Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, Nov 24, 2021