6 updates in AI ethics: new guidelines, institutes & more

If society is to comfortably adapt to the ongoing artificial intelligence-spurred global transformation, it is imperative that the field of AI ethics continues to expand, according to a recent op-ed written in part by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, PhD, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, PhD.

Here are six initiatives launched in 2019 in pursuit of that expansion, beginning with the most recent:

1. The Partnership for Artificial Intelligence, Telemedicine and Robotics in Healthcare released a set of ethical guidelines for the development of AI in healthcare, based partly on existing statements such as the Hippocratic Oath and Asilomar AI Principle.

2. The White House updated its National AI Research and Development Strategic Plan, reinforcing the importance of considering the ethical implications of the advancement and deployment of AI.

3. Stephen Schwarzman, founder and CEO of investment firm Blackstone, donated nearly $200 million to Oxford University to establish the Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities, which will be home to a new Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence.

4. A team of ethics researchers published a report in Neuron decrying the dangerously unfounded claims often made by the companies behind wearable neurotechnology devices. "Scientific evidence is essential to legitimize claims about utility, safety and efficacy and for informed choice and public trust," they wrote.

5. Researchers from MIT's computer science and AI lab launched a project seeking to "de-bias" AI by resampling the data fed into algorithms to be more balanced.

6. Google released a white paper describing how governments, civil society groups and developers must work together to define and clarify ethical questions regarding AI. These parties, they wrote, should direct their focus especially toward the areas of explainability standards, fairness appraisal, safety considerations, human-AI collaboration and liability frameworks.

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