Presentation of the position paper ‘Ethics and AI in practice: working together and learning together’

Published on: 13 April 2022

The Scientific Council for Government Policy sees artificial intelligence (AI) as the new systems technology: a technological advance that will change society significantly. This is entirely in line with the vision and goals of the Netherlands AI Coalition. There has been a focus on the social impact of AI from the very beginning, specifically within the Human-Centric AI building block. Three main thrusts have been identified in the building block, all based on the ELSA concept: Ethical, Legal and Societal Aspects. This position paper gives further body to the idea of joint ethical activities.

The author of the position paper, Daniël Tijink, has the following to say about the focus.
“We’re committed to a practice-oriented, participative and design-oriented approach to ethics. Practice-oriented means learning from practical situations and for practical situations. Participation aims to allow for the various stakeholders and their values in the design. It’s about not only designing the AI technology but also the social design of the application environment and users.”

Platform for ethical design

The PACE platform (Participative and Constructive Ethics) for ethics and AI has been set up as a practically-oriented implementation of the principles listed above. The mission is to shape and use AI applications in Dutch society in an ethically responsible way. The NL AIC platform links knowledge to practice, encouraging ethical design or redesign of AI and the application environment. People from the commercial and governmental sectors, knowledge institutions and civil society organisations are all part of the platform.

The platform focuses on four areas: practical wisdom, where lessons are learned from ethics in practice; methodology development; ethics within organisations; and the dialogue with national and international developments and policies. The principle is to involve stakeholders actively and use ethics as a designing force for both the technology and the application environment. The aim is to learn from each other so that the development of human-centric AI can be accelerated.

Working and learning together

It is essentially about two things: working together and learning together. The platform is a ‘learning community of practice’ – for sharing knowledge and learning, with each other and from each other. Within that community, practical learning occurs across the boundaries of the various fields, organisations or projects, all underpinned by a common focus. The community aims to create an impact and draws its inspiration from practical situations.


The position paper can be downloaded here (in Dutch), read it for more information about the topic of ethics and the PACE platform. If you would you like to know more, please contact Edwin Borst (secretary of PACE) or Náhani Oosterwijk (coordinator of the Human-Centric AI working group).

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