Smart City Expo: A roadmap for ethics in AI

workshop ethics in technology

One of the most interesting debates in the modern world is that of ethics in technology. On Tuesday, November 19th at the Smart City Expo –amidst those with strong views for and against this topic– the Digital Future Society and the Interamerican Development Bank Lab organized a workshop with the objective of prototyping a certification process for responsible Artificial Intelligence in Spain and Latin America.

Businessmen and entrepreneurs were invited to join our CEO, Ivan Caballero, to collectively create a roadmap to identify the first step towards a more responsible Artificial Intelligence industry.

At the start of the session, called “Making a Trustworthy AI Industry for All: Prototyping a Certification Process for the Responsible Development of AI by Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s)”, four speakers shared some of their experiences with certification processes as they apply in their own organization and institutions to inspire the attendees in the creation process.

An interesting exchange of ideas

“48% of Danish tech companies are actively working with data ethics,” commented Mr. Andreas Rahlf Hauptmann, Director of EU & International Affairs. In his presentation, he further explained how the Danish business model applies ethical principles in practice through four key tools: Data Ethical Toolkit, Council for Data Ethics, Declaration of Data Ethics Policy and Data Ethics and Cybersecurity Seal.
Dr. Cesar Buenadicha, the representative of the Interamerican Development Bank Lab, explained how the fAIr LAC –a pioneer project promoted by the IDB Group’s innovation laboratory, governments, universities and the private sector– develops standards and tools that guide the responsible and reliable use of artificial intelligence in Latin America and the Caribbean. He also stressed that the organization seeks to encourage the adoption of responsible AI through pilots and the creation of regional hubs. The implementation of these initiatives has already begun in countries such as Mexico (Jalisco), Costa Rica and Uruguay.
Dr. Cesar Buenadicha, the representative of the Interamerican Development Bank Lab, explained how the fAIr LAC –a pioneer project promoted by the IDB Group’s innovation laboratory, governments, universities and the private sector– develops standards and tools that guide the responsible and reliable use of artificial intelligence in Latin America and the Caribbean. He also stressed that the organization seeks to encourage the adoption of responsible AI through pilots and the creation of regional hubs. The implementation of these initiatives has already begun in countries such as Mexico (Jalisco), Costa Rica and Uruguay.
Concurrently, Dr. Clara Neppel, Senior European Business Operations Director of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, revealed the two objectives behind the Ethics Certification Program for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (ECPAIS) –a certification to which organizations can apply to support the products, systems and services they provide.
As he stated, the program seeks to develop an Ethical Certification Program to boost transparency and accountability, along with avoiding algorithmic bias.
Additionally, Neppel highlighted the importance of the previous day’s meeting where experts from the technology sector came together because they are the best ones to develop a plan according to specific requirements in each of their areas of expertise.
Finally, Dr. Richard Benjamins, Data & Artificial Intelligence Ambassador at Telefonica, explained how artificial intelligence is developed within the company. The company’s current approach is to break down each of the principles of Artificial Intelligence into a series of questions that are applied in their standard methodologies of product and service design. This way, they train their professionals and provide them with the technical tools they need to adequately answer questions such as: Does your AI system use personal data? Is the AI system’s outcome significantly affecting people’s lives? Does your P&S negatively impact the UN’s SDGs?
The members of this session were Ms. Constanza Gomez Mont, Chief Executive Officer de CMinds; Ms. Sylvia Chebi, Executive Director de Thaleslab; Mr. Michael Puntschuh, Policy Advisor de iRightsLab; Dr. Fernando Vilariño, Associate Director de Computer Vision Center; Dr. Martín Zamorano, Chief Research Officer de Eticas Consulting, Dr. Fernando Suárez, President del Spanish General Council of Informations Engineering y Ms. María José del Olmo Toribio, Spanish Secretary of State for Digital Advancement del Ministry of Economy and Business.
Is it possible to avoid the risks of bias, loss of privacy and misuse of data in the technologies that apply to Artificial Intelligence? With brilliant minds coming together like this, we see the first steps of making it so.