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AI Ethics in the Public, Private, and NGO Sectors: A Review of a Global Document Collection

posted on 2021-03-05, 17:26 authored by Daniel SchiffDaniel Schiff, Jason Borenstein, Justin Biddle, Kelly Laas
In recent years, numerous public, private, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have produced documents addressing the ethical implications of artificial intelligence (AI). These normative documents include principles, frameworks, and policy strategies that articulate the ethical concerns, priorities, and associated strategies of leading organizations and governments around the world. We examined 112 such documents from 25 countries that were produced between 2016 and the middle of 2019. While other studies identified some degree of consensus in such documents, our work highlights meaningful differences across public, private, and non-governmental organizations. We analyzed each document in terms of how many of 25 ethical topics were covered and the depth of discussion for those topics. As compared to documents from private entities, NGO and public sector documents reflect more ethical breadth in the number of topics covered, are more engaged with law and regulation, and are generated through processes that are more participatory. These findings may reveal differences in underlying beliefs about an organization’s responsibilities, the relative importance of relying on experts versus including representatives from the public, and the tension between prosocial and economic goals.

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Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy Program, Georgia Institute of Technology


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Georgia Institute of Technology

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  • United States of America

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