Viewpoint: Before we ‘summon the demon’ of AI, we need a global consensus on ethics

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Image: Gobind Singh Deo

The potential threats of AI are many, and most people agree that ethical AI that benefits humanity as a whole is critical for this technological quantum leap.

But what exactly does “ethical AI” mean?

Although there’s been numerous attempts at drafting an ethical AI guideline, what remains unclear is if everyone—regardless of sector, socioeconomic status, culture, or religion—is in agreement.

In a study published [September 2] in Nature Machine Learning, a team from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, took a birds-eye view at AI ethics guidelines around the globe. It’s not a uniform sample: wealthy nations, including the US, EU, and Japan, are represented far more than poorer regions such as Africa, Central Asia, and Latin America. Yet even with this skewed sample two conclusions emerged.

Related article:  'Automation is in a tailspin': How the pandemic has disrupted AI's ability to understand us

One, there’s a strong global convergence towards five ethical principles, including transparency, justice and fairness, non-maleficence, responsibility, and privacy. Two, people can’t really agree on what any of those words mean when it comes to policy.

It’s hard for humanity to agree on anything. But as we summon the demon of artificial general intelligence, “for the benefit of all mankind” should be taking on an entirely new level of meaning.

Read full, original post: What Does Ethical AI Look Like? Here’s What the New Global Consensus Says

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