Developing AI in a responsible way

December 4, 2018, University of Montreal
Credit: University of Montreal

Université de Montréal, in collaboration with the Fonds de recherche du Québec, today unveiled the Montréal Declaration for Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence. This set of ethical guidelines for the development of artificial intelligence is the culmination of more than a year of work, research and consultations with citizens, experts, public policymakers and industry stakeholders, civil society organizations, and professional orders.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a major form of scientific and technological progress that can generate considerable social benefits. The of AI, however, poses ethical challenges and social risks. It is incumbent on the various public and private stakeholders and policymakers, at the local, national and international levels, to ensure that the development and deployment of AI are compatible with the protection and fulfilment of fundamental human capacities and goals.

"Université de Montréal has been at the heart of many scientific breakthroughs in , and I am pleased that a vast network of researchers and leaders from the scientific, legal, economic and political spheres has now coalesced around the social and ethical challenges related to AI," said Université de Montréal rector Guy Breton. "I invite everyone with an interest in the subject to read the text of the Declaration and to sign it, so that their voice can be heard."

Yoshua Bengio, a member of the Montréal Responsible AI Declaration Steering Committee, added: "As a scientist, I feel a great responsibility to see to it that the outcomes of my research and of developments across the AI spectrum are used for the benefit of as many people as possible. By integrating social responsibility principles at the outset of technological development in university and industry laboratories, we can have a truly positive and concrete impact. That is the distinguishing feature of this Declaration: it incorporates the concerns of all stakeholders in the field and rallies all of civil society around sound principles."

Said Remi Quirion, Quebec's chief scientist: "In addition to supporting the development of scientific expertise in artificial intelligence, it became important for the Fonds de recherche du Québec to take into account the ethical and societal aspects of progress in this field of research. With that in mind, I salute the work that led to the launch of the Montreal Declaration for Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence, developed in collaboration with civil society. The new International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies, announced yesterday, will most certainly be based on the principles contained in the Declaration."

10 principles

A key objective of the Declaration is to identify the ethical principles and values applicable to the fields of digital technology and AI that promote the fundamental interests of people and groups. These principles are:

  1. Well-being: The development and use of artificial-intelligence systems (AIS) must permit the growth of the well-being of all sentient beings.
  2. Respect for autonomy: AIS must be developed and used with respect for people's autonomy, and with the goal of increasing people's control over their lives and their surroundings.
  3. Protection of privacy and intimacy: Privacy and intimacy must be protected from intrusion by AIS and by data-acquisition and archiving systems.
  4. Solidarity: The development of AIS must be compatible with maintaining the bonds of solidarity among people and generations.
  5. Democratic participation: AIS must meet intelligibility, justifiability and accessibility criteria, and must be subjected to democratic scrutiny, debate and control.
  6. Equity: The development and use of AIS must contribute to the creation of a just and equitable society.
  7. Diversity inclusion: The development and use of AIS must be compatible with maintaining social and cultural diversity, and must not restrict the scope of lifestyle choices and personal experience.
  8. Prudence: Every person involved in AIS development must exercise caution by anticipating, as far as possible, the potential adverse consequences of AIS use, and by taking appropriate measures to avoid them.
  9. Responsibility: The development and use of AIS must not contribute to diminishing the responsibility of human beings when decisions must be made.
  10. Sustainable development: The development and use of AIS must be carried out so as to ensure strong environmental sustainability of the planet.

8 recommendations

Based on these principles, recommendations have been developed for the purpose of suggesting guidelines for accomplishing the digital transition within the ethical framework of the Declaration.

  1. Organization for independent citizen scrutiny and consultation: An organization dedicated to the examination of and research into the uses and social impacts of digital technology and AI should be established.
  2. SIA audit and certification policy: A coherent policy for the auditing and certification of AIS that promotes responsible deployment should be instituted.
  3. Empowerment and automation: There should be support for empowerment of citizens in the face of digital technologies, in the form of access to education that enables understanding, critical thinking, respect, and accountability, so as to promote active participation in a sustainable digital society.
  4. Education and ethics: The education of stakeholders concerned by the design, development and use of AIS should be rethought, with investment in multidisciplinarity and ethics.
  5. Inclusive development of AI: A coherent strategy should be implemented, utilizing the various existing institutional resources, to promote inclusive development of AI and prevent potential biases and discrimination related to development and deployment of AIS.
  6. Protection of democracy: To safeguard democracy against the manipulation of information for political ends, a containment strategy is required to prevent deception and political manipulation of citizens via malicious social platforms and websites, along with a strategy to combat political profiling, so as to maintain the conditions for healthily functioning democratic institutions and informed citizens.
  7. International development of AI: A non-predatory model of international development should be adopted that aims to include the various regions of the globe without abusing low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
  8. Environmental footprint: A public/private strategy should be implemented to ensure that development and deployment of AIS and other are compatible with robust environmental sustainability and conducive to advancement of solutions to the environmental crisis.

Explore further: German firm's 7 commandments for ethical AI

More information: Where to sign: www.montrealdeclaration-respon … .com/i-am-signing-up

Related Stories

German firm's 7 commandments for ethical AI

September 18, 2018

German business software giant SAP published Tuesday an ethics code to govern its research into artificial intelligence (AI), aiming to prevent the technology infringing on people's rights, displacing workers or inheriting ...

Harnessing artificial intelligence for sustainability goals

November 15, 2018

As ESA's ɸ-week continues to provoke and inspire participants on new ways of using Earth observation for monitoring our world to benefit the citizens of today and of the future, it is clear that artificial intelligence is ...

UN report: Technologies can help lives but boost inequality

October 9, 2018

New technologies from artificial intelligence to gene editing hold immense potential to improve people's live—but can also drive greater inequality and social dislocation, according to a U.N. report launched Monday.

MIT unveils new $1 bn college for artificial intelligence

October 15, 2018

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced plans Monday to create a new college of artificial intelligence with an initial $1 billion commitment for the program focusing on "responsible and ethical" uses of the technology.

Recommended for you

Uber filed paperwork for IPO: report

December 8, 2018

Ride-share company Uber quietly filed paperwork this week for its initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported late Friday.

5 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Macrocompassion
not rated yet Dec 05, 2018
What is so special about application to AI here? These principles are applicable to human intelligence matters too!
Da Schneib
not rated yet Dec 05, 2018
Computer intelligences will never be like human intelligences. That is because they are not equipped to feel emotion. Or at least it's not a great idea. For a lot of reasons.
granville583762
not rated yet Dec 05, 2018
This electro mechanical human

Give a computer
the equivalent computing capacity
of the human brain
give it a head
give it two eyes
a nose
two ears
two arms two legs
in short
duplicate every bone and muscle
in the human body
give this electro mechanical human
the capacity to learn
cry
laugh
vocalise
sense of touch
tactile and soft to touch
two eyes with that artistic bent
then give this electro mechanical human
to any human family
as a new born babe
and my dear friend Da Schneib
it will like a babe in arms
learn to gurgle
learn to smile
it will learn to be one with its mummy and daddy
and all the families children will be its brothers and sisters
as it will speak the language of its parents be that russian or arabic
and as it plays ball in the street with its friends
and finally on graduation with its degree in philosophy and music
it will just like a full grown babe in arms
be indistinguishable from its electro chemical humans
granville583762
not rated yet Dec 05, 2018
As the years fly by Da Schneib

This electro chemical human body we inhabit
with its brain
our electro chemical body
is all that is required by our brain
to nurture and feed our brain
as this all our brain requires
to create from its imagination
in its virtual world
as our brain controls our body
to turn its virtual world into a physical reality

As Da Schnieb
this electro mechanical human
is exactly the same
its computer is our brain
its mechanical body
turns it virtual world
into a world of reality
this electro chemical human is constructed
of the very same atoms
as our electro mechanical human
this electro chemical human
is
this electro mechanical human
they are interchangeable
they are one and the same
it is the way of the world we live in
these electro mechanical humans
will
accept
these electro chemical humans
on
equal terms
Because we are all the same under the skin
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Dec 05, 2018
Computer intelligences will never be like human intelligences.

They're not supposed to be.
That is because they are not equipped to feel emotion.

I'm pretty sure that can be remedied.

Instinct -> emotion -> cognition. Each of those can be traced to successive (and successively newer - in terms of evolution) layers of the brain.

Up to now there just hasn't been a point in equipping AI with the capability to develop emotion because they are supposed to do tasks (where coloring the outcome by an emotional component doesn't really help). Current hardware is already at its limits coping with that, never mind adding on "emotion networks".

But I understand there's already research being conducted in that direction. Emotion (or instinct) isn't something magical. It's an evolutionary trait in humans like anything else.

Question is what we're going to use it for? Most likely sex-bots, tho.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.