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An embedded ethics approach for AI development

Ruth Müller and colleagues examine AI development practices, noting the “gap [in] translating ethical considerations into ethical practices,” and make the case for “integrating the consideration of social, ethical and legal issues into the entire development process in a deeply integrated, collaborative and interdisciplinary way.” They argue that such “collaborative work … [in] an iterative and continuous process,” will “help develop AI technologies that are ethically and socially responsible, and that benefit and do not harm individuals and communities.” At the same time, they acknowledge potential operational and financial conflicts, as well as difficulty in assessing results. The piece appears in the comment section of the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, and was published online on 31 July 2020.

For the piece, Ruth collaborated with others at TUM and across institutions in Massachusetts, USA. The group brings together engineers, ethicists, and social scientists, and provides insights from medicine and health science, robotics and machine intelligence, and management and policy, appropriately so in a journal that acknowledges the “impact [AI technologies] have on other scientific disciplines as well as many aspects of society and industry,” and “[encourages] cross-disciplinary dialogue” on these “ethical, social and legal issues.” The work is available on the journal’s website here.

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