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  • Writer's pictureJessica Chapplow

The EU Commission publishes AI ethics guidelines

The future of ethical AI applications mean companies, governments and international organisations must satisfy seven requirements.

It's been a turbulent week for ethical AI with Google shutting down it's ethics board less than a week after it was established.

But with every tribulation comes a triumph. The EU has released its first guidelines for governments, companies and international organisations to encourage the development of artificial intelligence algorithms that are accountable, explainable and unbiased.

The EU has already demonstrated the lengths it is willing to go to in order to enforce far-reaching laws that safeguard digital rights.

A summary of the EU's guidelines are below, and you can read the full document here.

A panel of 52 experts reached the conclusion that future AI technology systems should include the seven core components:

Human agency and oversight: AI systems should enable equitable societies by supporting human agency and fundamental rights, and not decrease, limit or misguide human autonomy.

Robustness and safety: Trustworthy AI requires algorithms to be secure, reliable and robust enough to deal with errors or inconsistencies during all life cycle phases of AI systems.

Privacy and data governance: Citizens should have full control over their own data, while data concerning them will not be used to harm or discriminate against them.

Transparency:The trace-ability of AI systems should be ensured.

Diversity, non-discrimination and fairness: AI systems should consider the whole range of human abilities, skills and requirements, and ensure accessibility.

Societal and environmental well-being: AI systems should be used to enhance positive social change and enhance sustainability and ecological responsibility.

Accountability: Mechanisms should be put in place to ensure responsibility and accountability for AI systems and their outcomes.

Whilst this is a step in the right direction, these guidelines also perpetuate what is becoming an increasing issue with ethical codes of conduct - they are not legally binding. However, it will be crucial that these guidelines are used to inform any future legislation that the EU drafts, especially if we are to expect companies to move beyond simply reading these code of conduct documents to actually being compliant with them.

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