Ethical Standards for a More Humane Artificial Intelligence

 |   Microsoft News Center


Artificial intelligence brings not only huge opportunities, but a similar degree of responsibility too, meaning that it should only be developed in line with fundamental moral principles. Microsoft views six such basic principles as mandatory.

Everyone agrees that artificial intelligence (AI) will have a huge effect on the economy and society as a whole. But opinions differ very much regarding what these changes will actually be, and whether they will they lead in a good or bad direction. “One thing is clear, today there are more questions about AI than answers, and many of these questions are coupled with fear”, said Zsuzsanna Mátrai, Microsoft’s Corporate Affairs Director at the Microsoft Future Decoded event.

Microsoft strongly believes that, if used wisely, artificial intelligence can make everyone’s life better, as it may contribute to liberating and fulfilling human ability and creativity. In this sense, artificial intelligence can actually make society more humane. Therefore the main question is not about what computers can do (practically everything), but how all these limitless abilities can be used for the benefit of mankind.

Etikus AI“There are two basic conditions for this,” said Zsuzsanna Mátrai. The first is that the concept and future use of AI should be guided by the cooperation and dialogue between all stakeholders—the state, the private sector, researchers, lawyers—, because this responsibility cannot be borne solely by the private sphere. This is why Microsoft welcomed the establishment of the Hungarian AI Coalition, and was among the first to join the founders in this venture, as it will be able to create a forum and framework for precisely this dialogue.

The second important basic condition is for artificial intelligence to be approached ethically. We are forming AI to our own image, it will follow the examples we show it, so it should not be left to chance. Microsoft has elaborated six moral principles that every researcher and developer must observe from the very first moment, from the birth of the idea when starting any form of AI development, but the whole company’s AI approach is defined by these six basic principles. According to these principles, all artificial intelligence solutions should be:

·      socially fair

·      reliable

·      safe

·      inclusive

·      transparent and

·      accountable.

Microsoft is convinced that in the future these six basic principles will form the basis of all legislation related to artificial intelligence. But until this legislation is created, both developers and users of AI should rely on these principles in a self-regulating manner. Zsuzsanna Mátrai also does not rule out the scenario where all specialists dealing with artificial intelligence take an oath, like the Hippocratic Oath doctors take, to cause no one harm with their activities. And Microsoft would gladly lead the way in phrasing such an oath.

“Don’t rush, think about it, and include everyone involved. After this, act responsibly—using this approach as a compass for everyone, we can create a future together based on artificial intelligence that really is humane”, summarized Zsuzsanna Mátrai.

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