Ethical concerns around potential job loss, facial recognition, and bias have been raised surrounding the future impact of artificial intelligence on society. On Friday those concerns were elevated to a “higher authority,” with IBM and Microsoft lending support to a set of ethical principles backed by the Vatican.
Such principles were outlined in a document titled “Rome Call For AI Ethics,” and promotes a regulatory approach around what is being called an “algor-ethical” vision of design, with transparency, inclusion, responsibility, impartiality, reliability, security and privacy all factored in.
“AI systems must be conceived, designed and implemented to serve and protect human beings and the environment in which they live,” the document reads. “It must include every human being, discriminating against no one; it must have the good of humankind and the good of every human being at its heart; finally, it must be mindful of the complex reality of our ecosystem and be characterized by the way in which it cares for and protects the planet….”
The document specifically flagged the “higher risk of impacting human beings” around facial recognition.
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Pope Francis has been raising concerns around AI for more than a year, according to IBM executive vice president John Kelly III who, along with Microsoft president Brad Smith, attended a conference at the Vatican.
Kelly told Reuters that the Pope’s “major concerns were, will it be available to everyone, or is it going to further bifurcate the haves and the have-not’s?”
Kelly added that about a third of the ethical questions IBM faces have no easy answers.
“Going forward we’re going to see more falling in that category, only because the technology is advancing so fast,” he said.