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Embedded ethics for AI development: Interview with Prof. Buyx

In July of this year, Prof. Dr. Ruth Müller and colleagues at TUM and in the USA published “An embedded ethics approach for AI development” in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence. The article examined AI development practices, and argued for “collaborative work … [in] an iterative and continuous process,” to “help develop AI technologies that are ethically and socially responsible, and that benefit and do not harm individuals and communities.”

TUM News followed up with a report on the article and an interview with one of the collaborators, Prof. Dr. med. Alena Buyx, Director of the Institute for History and Ethics of Medicine and Chair of Ethics in Medicine and Health Technologies. In the interview, Prof. Buyx explains how embedded ethics “[makes] ethics an integral part of the research process … from day one” and describes a promising example in practice from the Geriatronics Research Center (TUM), where teams are experimenting with live-in “robot assistants” for the elderly. Questioned about “ethics hype” and the potential for “ethics washing,” Prof. Buyx defends and celebrates the interdisciplinary consensus around upstream integration of ethics, while acknowledging the challenges ahead in adapting and systematizing the proposals across disciplines and industries.

The TUM News story is available online on the university’s website here, the original article is available on the journal’s website here, and our earlier announcement of its publication is available on the MCTS website here.

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