(i) Sustainability

AI technology must be in line with the human responsibility to ensure the basic preconditions for life on our planet, continued prospering for mankind and preservation of a good environment for future generations. Strategies to prevent future technologies from detrimentally affecting human life and nature are to be based on policies that ensure the priority of environmental protection and sustainability.
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, 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

· 1. The Principle of Beneficence: “Do Good”

AI systems should be designed and developed to improve individual and collective wellbeing. AI systems can do so by generating prosperity, value creation and wealth maximization and sustainability. At the same time, beneficent AI systems can contribute to wellbeing by seeking achievement of a fair, inclusive and peaceful society, by helping to increase citizen’s mental autonomy, with equal distribution of economic, social and political opportunity. AI systems can be a force for collective good when deployed towards objectives like: the protection of democratic process and rule of law; the provision of common goods and services at low cost and high quality; data literacy and representativeness; damage mitigation and trust optimization towards users; achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals or sustainability understood more broadly, according to the pillars of economic development, social equity, and environmental protection. In other words, AI can be a tool to bring more good into the world and or to help with the world’s greatest challenges.

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

· Environment and ecosystem flourishing

17. Environmental and ecosystem flourishing should be recognized, protected and promoted through the life cycle of AI systems. Furthermore, environment and ecosystems are the existential necessity for humanity and other living beings to be able to enjoy the benefits of advances in AI. 18. All actors involved in the life cycle of AI systems must comply with applicable international law and domestic legislation, standards and practices, such as precaution, designed for environmental and ecosystem protection and restoration, and sustainable development. They should reduce the environmental impact of AI systems, including but not limited to its carbon footprint, to ensure the minimization of climate change and environmental risk factors, and prevent the unsustainable exploitation, use and transformation of natural resources contributing to the deterioration of the environment and the degradation of ecosystems.

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

· Responsibility and accountability

42. AI actors and Member States should respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and should also promote the protection of the environment and ecosystems, assuming their respective ethical and legal responsibility, in accordance with national and international law, in particular Member States’ human rights obligations, and ethical guidance throughout the life cycle of AI systems, including with respect to AI actors within their effective territory and control. The ethical responsibility and liability for the decisions and actions based in any way on an AI system should always ultimately be attributable to AI actors corresponding to their role in the life cycle of the AI system. 43. Appropriate oversight, impact assessment, audit and due diligence mechanisms, including whistle blowers’ protection, should be developed to ensure accountability for AI systems and their impact throughout their life cycle. Both technical and institutional designs should ensure auditability and traceability of (the working of) AI systems in particular to address any conflicts with human rights norms and standards and threats to environmental and ecosystem well being.

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