· 3. The Principle of Autonomy: “Preserve Human Agency”

Autonomy of human beings in the context of AI development means freedom from subordination to, or coercion by, AI systems. Human beings interacting with AI systems must keep full and effective self determination over themselves. If one is a consumer or user of an AI system this entails a right to decide to be subject to direct or indirect AI decision making, a right to knowledge of direct or indirect interaction with AI systems, a right to opt out and a right of withdrawal. Self determination in many instances requires assistance from government or non governmental organizations to ensure that individuals or minorities are afforded similar opportunities as the status quo. Furthermore, to ensure human agency, systems should be in place to ensure responsibility and accountability. It is paramount that AI does not undermine the necessity for human responsibility to ensure the protection of fundamental rights.
Principle: Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, Dec 18, 2018

Published by The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence

Related Principles

Human centred values

Throughout their lifecycle, AI systems should respect human rights, diversity, and the autonomy of individuals. This principle aims to ensure that AI systems are aligned with human values. Machines should serve humans, and not the other way around. AI systems should enable an equitable and democratic society by respecting, protecting and promoting human rights, enabling diversity, respecting human freedom and the autonomy of individuals, and protecting the environment. Human rights risks need to be carefully considered, as AI systems can equally enable and hamper such fundamental rights. It’s permissible to interfere with certain human rights where it’s reasonable, necessary and proportionate. All people interacting with AI systems should be able to keep full and effective control over themselves. AI systems should not undermine the democratic process, and should not undertake actions that threaten individual autonomy, like deception, unfair manipulation, unjustified surveillance, and failing to maintain alignment between a disclosed purpose and true action. AI systems should be designed to augment, complement and empower human cognitive, social and cultural skills. Organisations designing, developing, deploying or operating AI systems should ideally hire staff from diverse backgrounds, cultures and disciplines to ensure a wide range of perspectives, and to minimise the risk of missing important considerations only noticeable by some stakeholders.

Published by Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australian Government in AI Ethics Principles, Nov 7, 2019

I. Human agency and oversight

AI systems should support individuals in making better, more informed choices in accordance with their goals. They should act as enablers to a flourishing and equitable society by supporting human agency and fundamental rights, and not decrease, limit or misguide human autonomy. The overall wellbeing of the user should be central to the system's functionality. Human oversight helps ensuring that an AI system does not undermine human autonomy or causes other adverse effects. Depending on the specific AI based system and its application area, the appropriate degrees of control measures, including the adaptability, accuracy and explainability of AI based systems, should be ensured. Oversight may be achieved through governance mechanisms such as ensuring a human in the loop, human on the loop, or human in command approach. It must be ensured that public authorities have the ability to exercise their oversight powers in line with their mandates. All other things being equal, the less oversight a human can exercise over an AI system, the more extensive testing and stricter governance is required.

Published by European Commission in Key requirements for trustworthy AI, Apr 8, 2019

· 2. The Principle of Non maleficence: “Do no Harm”

AI systems should not harm human beings. By design, AI systems should protect the dignity, integrity, liberty, privacy, safety, and security of human beings in society and at work. AI systems should not threaten the democratic process, freedom of expression, freedoms of identify, or the possibility to refuse AI services. At the very least, AI systems should not be designed in a way that enhances existing harms or creates new harms for individuals. Harms can be physical, psychological, financial or social. AI specific harms may stem from the treatment of data on individuals (i.e. how it is collected, stored, used, etc.). To avoid harm, data collected and used for training of AI algorithms must be done in a way that avoids discrimination, manipulation, or negative profiling. Of equal importance, AI systems should be developed and implemented in a way that protects societies from ideological polarization and algorithmic determinism. Vulnerable demographics (e.g. children, minorities, disabled persons, elderly persons, or immigrants) should receive greater attention to the prevention of harm, given their unique status in society. Inclusion and diversity are key ingredients for the prevention of harm to ensure suitability of these systems across cultures, genders, ages, life choices, etc. Therefore not only should AI be designed with the impact on various vulnerable demographics in mind but the above mentioned demographics should have a place in the design process (rather through testing, validating, or other). Avoiding harm may also be viewed in terms of harm to the environment and animals, thus the development of environmentally friendly AI may be considered part of the principle of avoiding harm. The Earth’s resources can be valued in and of themselves or as a resource for humans to consume. In either case it is necessary to ensure that the research, development, and use of AI are done with an eye towards environmental awareness.

Published by The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, Dec 18, 2018

· 4. The Principle of Justice: “Be Fair”

For the purposes of these Guidelines, the principle of justice imparts that the development, use, and regulation of AI systems must be fair. Developers and implementers need to ensure that individuals and minority groups maintain freedom from bias, stigmatisation and discrimination. Additionally, the positives and negatives resulting from AI should be evenly distributed, avoiding to place vulnerable demographics in a position of greater vulnerability and striving for equal opportunity in terms of access to education, goods, services and technology amongst human beings, without discrimination. Justice also means that AI systems must provide users with effective redress if harm occurs, or effective remedy if data practices are no longer aligned with human beings’ individual or collective preferences. Lastly, the principle of justice also commands those developing or implementing AI to be held to high standards of accountability. Humans might benefit from procedures enabling the benchmarking of AI performance with (ethical) expectations.

Published by The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, Dec 18, 2018

· 4. Governance of AI Autonomy (Human oversight)

The correct approach to assuring properties such as safety, accuracy, adaptability, privacy, explicability, compliance with the rule of law and ethical conformity heavily depends on specific details of the AI system, its area of application, its level of impact on individuals, communities or society and its level of autonomy. The level of autonomy results from the use case and the degree of sophistication needed for a task. All other things being equal, the greater degree of autonomy that is given to an AI system, the more extensive testing and stricter governance is required. It must be ensured that AI systems continue to behave as intended when feedback signals become sparser. Depending on the area of application and or the level of impact on individuals, communities or society of the AI system, different levels or instances of governance (incl. human oversight) will be necessary. This is relevant for a large number of AI applications, and more particularly for the use of AI to suggest or take decisions concerning individuals or communities (algorithmic decision support). Good governance of AI autonomy in this respect includes for instance more or earlier human intervention depending on the level of societal impact of the AI system. This also includes the predicament that a user of an AI system, particularly in a work or decision making environment, is allowed to deviate from a path or decision chosen or recommended by the AI system.

Published by The European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence in Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, Dec 18, 2018