A call for sensible and responsible AI applications
Europe has created the ‘framework for Thrustworthy AI’ in which legal standards and ethical values of our society are central to the development of AI applications. The Netherlands builds on these principles with the manifest ‘Human Centric AI: A call for meaningful and responsible applications’, by the Netherlands AI Coalition from the working group Human Centric AI. The manifest has been presented to Mona Keijzer, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate in November 2020.
The importance of responsible AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is undoubtedly the most influential technology today. From justice to education, from healthcare to public administration, and from our daily use of the Internet to journalism, algorithms are playing an ever-increasing role in our daily lives. This influence is both welcomed and feared. AI can have a positive influence on society and the economy, but it also has a downside. Are there no prejudices embedded in algorithms and data, and is nobody excluded? Can people still oversee how AI systems work, and take responsibility for decisions they make based on AI?
The impact of AI on people and society brings a great deal of responsibility. For the designers and developers of AI systems, as well as for their implementers and users. How can we design AI systems responsibly? How can we determine whether these systems use responsible data? And how can we properly embed and use them socially? The importance of these questions is widely recognised. There is hardly any branch, government or company that has not an ethical code.
Also in international relations, the pursuit of ‘responsible AI’ is of crucial importance. In global competition, Europe is increasingly presenting itself as the ‘third way’, alongside the capitalist approach of ‘Big Tech’ in the West and the centralist approach of state control in the East. The third wayit is human centric AI.
The Netherlands as a core player
The Netherlands has the potential to be a core player in this third way. Scientific research in the field of AI is of a high level and the Netherlands has many successful AI-related companies. The so called polder model of the Dutch economy is also an excellent basis for connecting government, science, business and society. In addition, Dutch research in the field of Socially Responsible Innovation (SRI) and the ethics of technology has a global top position. In the Dutch approach, ethics are strongly linked to technological design. It is not only about the algorithms, but also about how, where and by whom they are applied. Is it done fairly, with respect, and with solidarity? ELSA Labs are the instrument that the Netherlands will deploy for this purpose, where ELSA refers to Ethical, Legal, and Societal Aspects. In these labs, companies, government, knowledge institutes and the inhabitants of the Netherlands work together on socially relevant topics with the help of AI methods and techniques.
It is time to make optimal use of this unique strength of the Netherlands for human centric AI. What the challenges are and how we can do this together with all parties in the ‘quadruple helix’ (government, business, science and citizens of the Netherlands) is described in the Manifest ‘Human Centric AI: A call for meaningful and responsible applications‘ (Dutch only).
Will you work together to develop human centric AI applications that aim to achieve prosperity and well-being for everyone in our society?
The manifest was written by the working group Human Centric AI of the Netherlands AI Coalition. On this page you can read more about their approach and the ELSA Labs.