from the avoiding-Samaritan dept.
The UK government has been urged to establish an AI ethics board to tackle the creeping influence of machine learning on society.
The call comes from a Robotics and Artificial Intelligence report published yesterday by the the House of Commons science and technology select committee. It quotes experts who warned the panel that AI "raises a host of ethical and legal issues".
"We recommend that a standing Commission on Artificial Intelligence be established, based at the Alan Turing Institute, to examine the social, ethical and legal implications of recent and potential developments in AI," the report said.
It highlighted that methods are required to verify that AI systems are operating in a transparent manner, to make sure that their behaviour is not unpredictable, and that any decisions made can be explained.
Innovate UK – an agency of UK.gov's Department of Business – said that "no clear paths exist for the verification and validation of autonomous systems whose behaviour changes with time."
They think they can stop Samaritan?
When a news article revealed that Clarifai was working with the Pentagon and some employees questioned the ethics of building artificial intelligence that analyzed video captured by drones, the company said the project would save the lives of civilians and soldiers.
"Clarifai's mission is to accelerate the progress of humanity with continually improving A.I.," read a blog post from Matt Zeiler, the company's founder and chief executive, and a prominent A.I. researcher. Later, in a news media interview, Mr. Zeiler announced a new management position that would ensure all company projects were ethically sound.
As activists, researchers, and journalists voice concerns over the rise of artificial intelligence, warning against biased, deceptive and malicious applications, the companies building this technology are responding. From tech giants like Google and Microsoft to scrappy A.I. start-ups, many are creating corporate principles meant to ensure their systems are designed and deployed in an ethical way. Some set up ethics officers or review boards to oversee these principles.
But tensions continue to rise as some question whether these promises will ultimately be kept. Companies can change course. Idealism can bow to financial pressure. Some activists — and even some companies — are beginning to argue that the only way to ensure ethical practices is through government regulation.
"We don't want to see a commercial race to the bottom," Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, said at the New Work Summit in Half Moon Bay, Calif., hosted last week by The New York Times. "Law is needed."
Possible != Probable. And the "needed law" could come in the form of a ban and/or surveillance of coding and hardware-building activities.
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