(c) Responsibility

The principle of responsibility must be fundamental to AI research and application. ‘Autonomous’ systems should only be developed and used in ways that serve the global social and environmental good, as determined by outcomes of deliberative democratic processes. This implies that they should be designed so that their effects align with a plurality of fundamental human values and rights. As the potential misuse of ‘autonomous’ technologies poses a major challenge, risk awareness and a precautionary approach are crucial. Applications of AI and robotics should not pose unacceptable risks of harm to human beings, and not compromise human freedom and autonomy by illegitimately and surreptitiously reducing options for and knowledge of citizens. They should be geared instead in their development and use towards augmenting access to knowledge and access to opportunities for individuals. Research, design and development of AI, robotics and ‘autonomous’ systems should be guided by an authentic concern for research ethics, social accountability of developers, and global academic cooperation to protect fundamental rights and values and aim at designing technologies that support these, and not detract from them.
Principle: Ethical principles and democratic prerequisites, Mar 9, 2018

Published by European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, European Commission

Related Principles

Human centred values

Throughout their lifecycle, AI systems should respect human rights, diversity, and the autonomy of individuals. This principle aims to ensure that AI systems are aligned with human values. Machines should serve humans, and not the other way around. AI systems should enable an equitable and democratic society by respecting, protecting and promoting human rights, enabling diversity, respecting human freedom and the autonomy of individuals, and protecting the environment. Human rights risks need to be carefully considered, as AI systems can equally enable and hamper such fundamental rights. It’s permissible to interfere with certain human rights where it’s reasonable, necessary and proportionate. All people interacting with AI systems should be able to keep full and effective control over themselves. AI systems should not undermine the democratic process, and should not undertake actions that threaten individual autonomy, like deception, unfair manipulation, unjustified surveillance, and failing to maintain alignment between a disclosed purpose and true action. AI systems should be designed to augment, complement and empower human cognitive, social and cultural skills. Organisations designing, developing, deploying or operating AI systems should ideally hire staff from diverse backgrounds, cultures and disciplines to ensure a wide range of perspectives, and to minimise the risk of missing important considerations only noticeable by some stakeholders.

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

(e) Democracy

Key decisions on the regulation of AI development and application should be the result of democratic debate and public engagement. A spirit of global cooperation and public dialogue on the issue will ensure that they are taken in an inclusive, informed, and farsighted manner. The right to receive education or access information on new technologies and their ethical implications will facilitate that everyone understands risks and opportunities and is empowered to participate in decisional processes that crucially shape our future. The principles of human dignity and autonomy centrally involve the human right to self determination through the means of democracy. Of key importance to our democratic political systems are value pluralism, diversity and accommodation of a variety of conceptions of the good life of citizens. They must not be jeopardised, subverted or equalised by new technologies that inhibit or influence political decision making and infringe on the freedom of expression and the right to receive and impart information without interference. Digital technologies should rather be used to harness collective intelligence and support and improve the civic processes on which our democratic societies depend.

Published by European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, European Commission in Ethical principles and democratic prerequisites, Mar 9, 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

· 1.1 Responsible Design and Deployment

We recognize our responsibility to integrate principles into the design of AI technologies, beyond compliance with existing laws. While the potential benefits to people and society are amazing, AI researchers, subject matter experts, and stakeholders should and do spend a great deal of time working to ensure the responsible design and deployment of AI systems. Highly autonomous AI systems must be designed consistent with international conventions that preserve human dignity, rights, and freedoms. As an industry, it is our responsibility to recognize potentials for use and misuse, the implications of such actions, and the responsibility and opportunity to take steps to avoid the reasonably predictable misuse of this technology by committing to ethics by design.

Published by Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) in AI Policy Principles, Oct 24, 2017

4 Foster responsibility and accountability

Humans require clear, transparent specification of the tasks that systems can perform and the conditions under which they can achieve the desired level of performance; this helps to ensure that health care providers can use an AI technology responsibly. Although AI technologies perform specific tasks, it is the responsibility of human stakeholders to ensure that they can perform those tasks and that they are used under appropriate conditions. Responsibility can be assured by application of “human warranty”, which implies evaluation by patients and clinicians in the development and deployment of AI technologies. In human warranty, regulatory principles are applied upstream and downstream of the algorithm by establishing points of human supervision. The critical points of supervision are identified by discussions among professionals, patients and designers. The goal is to ensure that the algorithm remains on a machine learning development path that is medically effective, can be interrogated and is ethically responsible; it involves active partnership with patients and the public, such as meaningful public consultation and debate (101). Ultimately, such work should be validated by regulatory agencies or other supervisory authorities. When something does go wrong in application of an AI technology, there should be accountability. Appropriate mechanisms should be adopted to ensure questioning by and redress for individuals and groups adversely affected by algorithmically informed decisions. This should include access to prompt, effective remedies and redress from governments and companies that deploy AI technologies for health care. Redress should include compensation, rehabilitation, restitution, sanctions where necessary and a guarantee of non repetition. The use of AI technologies in medicine requires attribution of responsibility within complex systems in which responsibility is distributed among numerous agents. When medical decisions by AI technologies harm individuals, responsibility and accountability processes should clearly identify the relative roles of manufacturers and clinical users in the harm. This is an evolving challenge and remains unsettled in the laws of most countries. Institutions have not only legal liability but also a duty to assume responsibility for decisions made by the algorithms they use, even if it is not feasible to explain in detail how the algorithms produce their results. To avoid diffusion of responsibility, in which “everybody’s problem becomes nobody’s responsibility”, a faultless responsibility model (“collective responsibility”), in which all the agents involved in the development and deployment of an AI technology are held responsible, can encourage all actors to act with integrity and minimize harm. In such a model, the actual intentions of each agent (or actor) or their ability to control an outcome are not considered.

Published by World Health Organization (WHO) in Key ethical principles for use of artificial intelligence for health, Jun 28, 2021