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At the AI Ethics Lab, we developed our Ethics in R&D (ERD) model to integrate ethics into AI research and development.

Our model consists of 3 components, which together provide a comprehensive approach to ethics. Yet, each one of these components can also be implemented in isolation. These are,

(1) Understanding Ethicsresearchers’ and developers’ awareness and understanding of ethics

(2) Ethics Analysis: embedding ethical analysis into the design and development process

(3) Institutional Ethics Policy:  developing institutional policies for recurrent crucial ethical questions

We argue that the ERD model provides a meaningful way of integrating ethics into innovation, where ethics complements and enhances R&D process. In our model, ethicists are not sitting in an isolated board – they are trusted collaborators of researchers and developers, working together to improve technologies.

ERD model can be implemented fully (with all 3 components) or partially within companies, start-ups, research centers, and incubators.

 

INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS POLICY

 

Our first component—understanding ethics—helps developers and researchers to identify and catch the ethical problems as they work through their projects.

Our second component—ethics analysis—brings in the ethics expertise to analyze projects and products to mitigate ethics problems and to take a proactive approach to enhance technology for making it more beneficial.

Our third component is about recurring hard questions. Institutions need to have a policy for dealing with overarching, crucial ethics problems. Define your AI principles and work out how they apply.

These questions go beyond ethics of research and product design. To formulate an institutional ethics policy, we help institutions

  • set up an interdisciplinary ethics team,
  • define recurrent questions in the field that they operate and around the technologies that they develop
  • apply these principles in concrete cases.

Having clearly defined policies together customized use-cases help guide both project teams and the leadership of the institution going forward.

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To learn more about our approach, read our recent article at Forbes AI, “A New Model for AI Ethics in R&D”.

To request an assessment of your company / institution and discuss implementing ERD, please contact us at contact@aiethicslab.com.

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