The IEC Standardization Evaluation Group (SEG) 10 for ethics in autonomous and artificial intelligence applications (AAA), held its first meeting in Frankfurt, Germany at the end of March.
“It was a very effective meeting. We understood the range of perspectives on AI and ethics issues in countries and organizations around the world. We are now working simultaneously from two sides – the pragmatic needs of industry in terms of incorporating ethics, and the desire of society to see certain values transferred into technology. The two tracks will inspire each other”, said Sebastian Hallensleben, Convenor of the Group.
In order to ensure the SEG 10 achieves a truly global perspective, it has dual convenorship with Ms Tangli Liu acting as Co-convenor.
SEG 10 is tasked with formulating recommendations to the IEC Standardization Management Board (SMB) on ethical aspects related to autonomous and AI applications, which may include broadly applicable guidelines for IEC technical committees and fostering collaboration between the committees and the IEC and ISO joint technical committee for AI (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42) in this area. Ms Tangli Liu is Co-Convenor
AI – a global topic with diverse perspectives
Ethics and societal concerns, such as trustworthiness, privacy, security and algorithm bias, are hot topics, as the world embraces AI in many aspects of daily life. Important questions need to be answered to ensure AI technologies deployed in homes, hospitals, schools, universities, workplaces, factories and other public spaces are safe and secure, and that decisions made by autonomous and AI systems are fair and beneficial for all.
During the meeting, there were discussions about standardization activities for AAA in different countries and held a discussion on ethics and AI from different geographical and cultural regions and perspectives. Participating countries included: Argentina, China, India, Israel, Germany, Japan, Saudi-Arabia, Sweden, the UK and the US.
Wael Diab, who leads the work by IEC and ISO joint technical committee for AI (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 42), gave an overview of SC 42 activities, which is currently the only committee of its kind to cover the entire AI ecosystem.
A new working structure
SEG 10 established a new work structure consisting of three working groups (WGs):
WG 1: AAA Societal and ethical foundations
The goal of WG 1 is to develop a framework/process/approach for applying ethics in different contexts/domains for standardization work.
Some of its tasks include: clarifying the role and purpose of ethics standards; summarizing the landscape of existing initiatives, and providing an overview of current consensus and challenges at national, regional and global levels.
WG 2: AAA Specific ethical requirements
WG 2 aims to identify and prioritize specific ethical requirements of IEC technical activities related to AAA.
It will consider items including: investigating IEC technical activities relevant to AAA; identifying applicable cases and stakeholders driving ethical concerns relevant to AAA; engaging all relevant stakeholders (social scientists, philosophers, academia, regulators, IT, OT, end users) and identifying any differences in B2B and B2C scenarios.
The next SEG 10 face-to-face meeting will take place during the IEC General Meeting in Shanghai.
Find out more about SEG 10.