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EU issues ethics guidelines for artificial intelligence

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EU issues ethics guidelines for artificial intelligence
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The European Commission has announced ethics guidelines for governments, companies and international organisations, on developing artificial intelligence.

The guidelines — which are not legally binding — includes a list of seven fundamental areas the EU hopes will produce trustworthy and effective AI technology. These include maintaining human autonomy, protecting personal data, and respecting the well-being of society and the environment.

Here's the list of the guidelines' principles, as listed by the European Commission:

  • 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 traceability 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.

"Ethical AI is a win-win proposition that can become a competitive advantage for Europe: being a leader of human-centric AI that people can trust,” said Andrus Ansip, EU vice-president for the digital single market, in a statement on Monday.

International technology giant IBM, which is part of the expert group that helped develop the guidelines, has come out with strong support for the EU's move..

"...we believe the thoughtful approach to creating [ethics guidelines] provides a strong example that other countries and regions should follow," said Martin Jetter, senior vice president and chairman of IBM Europe.