SIENNA submits response the UNESCO Online Consultation: Ethics of Artificial Intelligence



On 30 July 2020, SIENNA project submitted its response to the UNESCO Online Consultation on Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. We suggest bringing human rights to the fore and focusing on ethical principles that relate to the interaction between AI systems and their environment, including human beings.

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UNESCO has embarked on a two-year process to elaborate the first global standard-setting instrument on the ethics of artificial intelligence in the form of a Recommendation. The UNESCO Recommendation is expected to define shared values and principles, and identify concrete policy measures on the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI).

A key suggestion from the SIENNA project is to put human rights more clearly at the foundation of this document. While the current focus of the Recommendation on ethical values and principles is praiseworthy, we advise to place human rights more at the center of this document as member states have obligations toward these rights.

Furthermore, we suggested to reconsider a proposal included in these recommendations for ethical principles related to properties of AI systems themselves. As studies conducted in the SIENNA project, and in technology ethics more generally, have shown, AI systems do not have properties that can be considered in and of themselves, independently from the way they interact with their environment, including human beings. It is precisely this interaction that is at stake in the ethics of AI. We made suggestions to this Recommendation to make sure this was clear.

By Anna Drożdżewska & Anaîs Resseguier





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