ITU Blog: AI and ethics – where to draw the line?

Timmy, a SoftBank Group Corp.’s Pepper humanoid robot, inside the arrival hall at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong. (Photo: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg via Getty Images.)

After a 75-year incubation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a household word, reflected in popular culture through books, movies and even music.

From self-driving vehicles and interactive robots to Apple’s Siri concierge and IBM’s Watson, which is increasingly being used to solve business problems, AI technology is playing a growing role in our day-to-day world.

While true AI systems are still far less common than most people think — often what we call “AI” is simply pre-programmed rules that the software reinforces in different contexts — impressive advances are continually being made in autonomous, adaptive and AI systems that will see them having a greater impact over time.

Ensuring trustworthy AI systems

As President of IFIP, the global federation of information and communication technology (ICT) professional societies, I’m conscious that the work our members and others engage in to program these systems is critical to their performance and their trustworthiness.

To ensure that the impacts of AI systems remain positive and constructive, it is essential that we build in certain standards and safeguards.

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