T Transparency

Traditionally, many organisations that have developed and now use AI algorithms do not allow public scrutiny as the underlying programming (the source code) is proprietary, kept from public view. Being transparent and opening source material in computer science is an important step. It helps the public to understand better how AI works and therefore it improves trust and prevents unjustified fears.
Principle: IBE interactive framework of fundamental values and principles for the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business, Jan 11, 2018

Published by Institute of Business Ethics (IBE)

Related Principles

· Transparency

As AI increasingly changes the nature of work, workers, customers and vendors need to have information about how AI systems operate so that they can understand how decisions are made. Their involvement will help to identify potential bias, errors and unintended outcomes. Transparency is not necessarily nor only a question of open source code. While in some circumstances open source code will be helpful, what is more important are clear, complete and testable explanations of what the system is doing and why. Intellectual property, and sometimes even cyber security, is rewarded by a lack of transparency. Innovation generally, including in algorithms, is a value that should be encouraged. How, then, are these competing values to be balanced? One possibility is to require algorithmic verifiability rather than full algorithmic disclosure. Algorithmic verifiability would require companies to disclose not the actual code driving the algorithm but information allowing the effect of their algorithms to be independently assessed. In the absence of transparency regarding their algorithms’ purpose and actual effect, it is impossible to ensure that competition, labour, workplace safety, privacy and liability laws are being upheld. When accidents occur, the AI and related data will need to be transparent and accountable to an accident investigator, so that the process that led to the accident can be understood.

Published by Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Canada in Toward a G20 Framework for Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace, Jul 19, 2018

IV. Transparency

The traceability of AI systems should be ensured; it is important to log and document both the decisions made by the systems, as well as the entire process (including a description of data gathering and labelling, and a description of the algorithm used) that yielded the decisions. Linked to this, explainability of the algorithmic decision making process, adapted to the persons involved, should be provided to the extent possible. Ongoing research to develop explainability mechanisms should be pursued. In addition, explanations of the degree to which an AI system influences and shapes the organisational decision making process, design choices of the system, as well as the rationale for deploying it, should be available (hence ensuring not just data and system transparency, but also business model transparency). Finally, it is important to adequately communicate the AI system’s capabilities and limitations to the different stakeholders involved in a manner appropriate to the use case at hand. Moreover, AI systems should be identifiable as such, ensuring that users know they are interacting with an AI system and which persons are responsible for it.

Published by European Commission in Key requirements for trustworthy AI, Apr 8, 2019

Public Empowerment

Principle: The public’s ability to understand AI enabled services, and how they work, is key to ensuring trust in the technology. Recommendations: “Algorithmic Literacy” must be a basic skill: Whether it is the curating of information in social media platforms or self driving cars, users need to be aware and have a basic understanding of the role of algorithms and autonomous decision making. Such skills will also be important in shaping societal norms around the use of the technology. For example, identifying decisions that may not be suitable to delegate to an AI. Provide the public with information: While full transparency around a service’s machine learning techniques and training data is generally not advisable due to the security risk, the public should be provided with enough information to make it possible for people to question its outcomes.

Published by Internet Society, "Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Policy Paper" in Guiding Principles and Recommendations, Apr 18, 2017

· 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

1. Demand That AI Systems Are Transparent

A transparent artificial intelligence system is one in which it is possible to discover how, and why, the system made a decision, or in the case of a robot, acted the way it did. In particular: A. We stress that open source code is neither necessary nor sufficient for transparency – clarity cannot be obfuscated by complexity. B. For users, transparency is important because it builds trust in, and understanding of, the system, by providing a simple way for the user to understand what the system is doing and why. C. For validation and certification of an AI system, transparency is important because it exposes the system’s processes for scrutiny. D. If accidents occur, the AI will need to be transparent and accountable to an accident investigator, so the internal process that led to the accident can be understood. E. Workers must have the right to demand transparency in the decisions and outcomes of AI systems as well as the underlying algorithms (see principle 4 below). This includes the right to appeal decisions made by AI algorithms, and having it reviewed by a human being. F. Workers must be consulted on AI systems’ implementation, development and deployment. G. Following an accident, judges, juries, lawyers, and expert witnesses involved in the trial process require transparency and accountability to inform evidence and decision making. The principle of transparency is a prerequisite for ascertaining that the remaining principles are observed. See Principle 2 below for operational solution.

Published by UNI Global Union in Top 10 Principles For Ethical Artificial Intelligence, Dec 11, 2017