The Intelligence May Be Artificial but the Ethics Shouldn’t Be


Concerned that your future robot butler might be rude to your dog or engage in racist behavior towards your friends? Not to worry, high-profile tech companies have come together to establish ethical best practices for artificial intelligence.

Google Inc.’s DeepMind, Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp., IBM Corp. and Inc. have announced the formation of the Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society in order “to support research and recommends best practices” in a number of areas crucial to AI, such as ethics and fairness, privacy and  collaboration between humans and AI systems.

Each of the members of the Partnership have sophisticated AI research departments, and will contribute financial and research resources to the enterprise.

The partnership agreed on eight tenets, including: empowering as many people as possible with AI; educating and listening to the public; maintaining open research on ethical, social, economic and legal implications of AI; and working to protect privacy and trustworthiness of the technology.

“We believe that artificial intelligence technologies hold great promise for raising the quality of people’s lives and can be leveraged to help humanity address important global challenges such as climate change, food, inequality, health, and education,” the partnership’s website says.

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