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1.4: Ethical Perspectives, Approaches, and Frameworks

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    In discussing these ethical issues with students, it can be helpful to bear in mind some existing ethical perspectives, frameworks, and approaches. In this section I’ll explore some general ethics as well as some frameworks for ethical and “Responsible” AI produced by companies like Google and Microsoft.

    Apply these frameworks and perspectives to your discussions with students, for example by providing them with the examples and asking them to produce their own ethical frameworks.

    Ethical guidelines

    Here are several examples of guiding principles used in AI ethics or “responsible AI”. There are many more available, some of which I will link in the resources section of this post.

    EU High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence

    Google Australian Ethics Principles

    There are some key overlapping areas been these guidelines, and some which are unique. In teaching AI ethics, explore many different examples and discuss with students which are more appropriate, and why.

    “Ethics washing”

    One final point to note is that just because organisations develop AI Ethics or Responsible AI principles, doesn’t mean they follow them. Just like the “greenwashing” of environmental concerns discussed earlier, many AI companies have been accused of paying lip-service to ethical concerns.

    AI Ethics principles are often non-binding and cannot be enforced by law. To do that, we need laws and regulations imposed by states and countries.

    Stylised graphic washing hands of blood in ocean, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, feature article header image, graphic collage, dramatic, compelling --ar 3:2 --q 2 --v 4

    “this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine”.
    Can Responsible AI wash away the sins of big tech? Image via Midjourney. Prompt in alt text.

    1.4: Ethical Perspectives, Approaches, and Frameworks is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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