Third principle: Understanding

AI enabled systems, and their outputs, must be appropriately understood by relevant individuals, with mechanisms to enable this understanding made an explicit part of system design. Effective and ethical decision making in Defence, from the frontline of combat to back office operations, is always underpinned by appropriate understanding of context by those making decisions. Defence personnel must have an appropriate, context specific understanding of the AI enabled systems they operate and work alongside. This level of understanding will naturally differ depending on the knowledge required to act ethically in a given role and with a given system. It may include an understanding of the general characteristics, benefits and limitations of AI systems. It may require knowledge of a system’s purposes and correct environment for use, including scenarios where a system should not be deployed or used. It may also demand an understanding of system performance and potential fail states. Our people must be suitably trained and competent to operate or understand these tools. To enable this understanding, we must be able to verify that our AI enabled systems work as intended. While the ‘black box’ nature of some machine learning systems means that they are difficult to fully explain, we must be able to audit either the systems or their outputs to a level that satisfies those who are duly and formally responsible and accountable. Mechanisms to interpret and understand our systems must be a crucial and explicit part of system design across the entire lifecycle. This requirement for context specific understanding based on technically understandable systems must also reach beyond the MOD, to commercial suppliers, allied forces and civilians. Whilst absolute transparency as to the workings of each AI enabled system is neither desirable nor practicable, public consent and collaboration depend on context specific shared understanding. What our systems do, how we intend to use them, and our processes for ensuring beneficial outcomes result from their use should be as transparent as possible, within the necessary constraints of the national security context.
Principle: Ethical Principles for AI in Defence, Jun 15, 2022

Published by The Ministry of Defence (MOD), United Kingdom

Related Principles

Responsible Deployment

Principle: The capacity of an AI agent to act autonomously, and to adapt its behavior over time without human direction, calls for significant safety checks before deployment, and ongoing monitoring. Recommendations: Humans must be in control: Any autonomous system must allow for a human to interrupt an activity or shutdown the system (an “off switch”). There may also be a need to incorporate human checks on new decision making strategies in AI system design, especially where the risk to human life and safety is great. Make safety a priority: Any deployment of an autonomous system should be extensively tested beforehand to ensure the AI agent’s safe interaction with its environment (digital or physical) and that it functions as intended. Autonomous systems should be monitored while in operation, and updated or corrected as needed. Privacy is key: AI systems must be data responsible. They should use only what they need and delete it when it is no longer needed (“data minimization”). They should encrypt data in transit and at rest, and restrict access to authorized persons (“access control”). AI systems should only collect, use, share and store data in accordance with privacy and personal data laws and best practices. Think before you act: Careful thought should be given to the instructions and data provided to AI systems. AI systems should not be trained with data that is biased, inaccurate, incomplete or misleading. If they are connected, they must be secured: AI systems that are connected to the Internet should be secured not only for their protection, but also to protect the Internet from malfunctioning or malware infected AI systems that could become the next generation of botnets. High standards of device, system and network security should be applied. Responsible disclosure: Security researchers acting in good faith should be able to responsibly test the security of AI systems without fear of prosecution or other legal action. At the same time, researchers and others who discover security vulnerabilities or other design flaws should responsibly disclose their findings to those who are in the best position to fix the problem.

Published by Internet Society, "Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Policy Paper" in Guiding Principles and Recommendations, Apr 18, 2017

Second principle: Responsibility

Human responsibility for AI enabled systems must be clearly established, ensuring accountability for their outcomes, with clearly defined means by which human control is exercised throughout their lifecycles. The increased speed, complexity and automation of AI enabled systems may complicate our understanding of pre existing concepts of human control, responsibility and accountability. This may occur through the sorting and filtering of information presented to decision makers, the automation of previously human led processes, or processes by which AI enabled systems learn and evolve after their initial deployment. Nevertheless, as unique moral agents, humans must always be responsible for the ethical use of AI in Defence. Human responsibility for the use of AI enabled systems in Defence must be underpinned by a clear and consistent articulation of the means by which human control is exercised, and the nature and limitations of that control. While the level of human control will vary according to the context and capabilities of each AI enabled system, the ability to exercise human judgement over their outcomes is essential. Irrespective of the use case, Responsibility for each element of an AI enabled system, and an articulation of risk ownership, must be clearly defined from development, through deployment – including redeployment in new contexts – to decommissioning. This includes cases where systems are complex amalgamations of AI and non AI components, from multiple different suppliers. In this way, certain aspects of responsibility may reach beyond the team deploying a particular system, to other functions within the MOD, or beyond, to the third parties which build or integrate AI enabled systems for Defence. Collectively, these articulations of human control, responsibility and risk ownership must enable clear accountability for the outcomes of any AI enabled system in Defence. There must be no deployment or use without clear lines of responsibility and accountability, which should not be accepted by the designated duty holder unless they are satisfied that they can exercise control commensurate with the various risks.

Published by The Ministry of Defence (MOD), United Kingdom in Ethical Principles for AI in Defence, Jun 15, 2022

Fifth principle: Reliability

AI enabled systems must be demonstrably reliable, robust and secure. The MOD’s AI enabled systems must be suitably reliable; they must fulfil their intended design and deployment criteria and perform as expected, within acceptable performance parameters. Those parameters must be regularly reviewed and tested for reliability to be assured on an ongoing basis, particularly as AI enabled systems learn and evolve over time, or are deployed in new contexts. Given Defence’s unique operational context and the challenges of the information environment, this principle also requires AI enabled systems to be secure, and a robust approach to cybersecurity, data protection and privacy. MOD personnel working with or alongside AI enabled systems can build trust in those systems by ensuring that they have a suitable level of understanding of the performance and parameters of those systems, as articulated in the principle of understanding.

Published by The Ministry of Defence (MOD), United Kingdom in Ethical Principles for AI in Defence, Jun 15, 2022

· Transparency and explainability

37. The transparency and explainability of AI systems are often essential preconditions to ensure the respect, protection and promotion of human rights, fundamental freedoms and ethical principles. Transparency is necessary for relevant national and international liability regimes to work effectively. A lack of transparency could also undermine the possibility of effectively challenging decisions based on outcomes produced by AI systems and may thereby infringe the right to a fair trial and effective remedy, and limits the areas in which these systems can be legally used. 38. While efforts need to be made to increase transparency and explainability of AI systems, including those with extra territorial impact, throughout their life cycle to support democratic governance, the level of transparency and explainability should always be appropriate to the context and impact, as there may be a need to balance between transparency and explainability and other principles such as privacy, safety and security. People should be fully informed when a decision is informed by or is made on the basis of AI algorithms, including when it affects their safety or human rights, and in those circumstances should have the opportunity to request explanatory information from the relevant AI actor or public sector institutions. In addition, individuals should be able to access the reasons for a decision affecting their rights and freedoms, and have the option of making submissions to a designated staff member of the private sector company or public sector institution able to review and correct the decision. AI actors should inform users when a product or service is provided directly or with the assistance of AI systems in a proper and timely manner. 39. From a socio technical lens, greater transparency contributes to more peaceful, just, democratic and inclusive societies. It allows for public scrutiny that can decrease corruption and discrimination, and can also help detect and prevent negative impacts on human rights. Transparency aims at providing appropriate information to the respective addressees to enable their understanding and foster trust. Specific to the AI system, transparency can enable people to understand how each stage of an AI system is put in place, appropriate to the context and sensitivity of the AI system. It may also include insight into factors that affect a specific prediction or decision, and whether or not appropriate assurances (such as safety or fairness measures) are in place. In cases of serious threats of adverse human rights impacts, transparency may also require the sharing of code or datasets. 40. Explainability refers to making intelligible and providing insight into the outcome of AI systems. The explainability of AI systems also refers to the understandability of the input, output and the functioning of each algorithmic building block and how it contributes to the outcome of the systems. Thus, explainability is closely related to transparency, as outcomes and ub processes leading to outcomes should aim to be understandable and traceable, appropriate to the context. AI actors should commit to ensuring that the algorithms developed are explainable. In the case of AI applications that impact the end user in a way that is not temporary, easily reversible or otherwise low risk, it should be ensured that the meaningful explanation is provided with any decision that resulted in the action taken in order for the outcome to be considered transparent. 41. Transparency and explainability relate closely to adequate responsibility and accountability measures, as well as to the trustworthiness of AI systems.

Published by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in The Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, Nov 24, 2021

4 Foster responsibility and accountability

Humans require clear, transparent specification of the tasks that systems can perform and the conditions under which they can achieve the desired level of performance; this helps to ensure that health care providers can use an AI technology responsibly. Although AI technologies perform specific tasks, it is the responsibility of human stakeholders to ensure that they can perform those tasks and that they are used under appropriate conditions. Responsibility can be assured by application of “human warranty”, which implies evaluation by patients and clinicians in the development and deployment of AI technologies. In human warranty, regulatory principles are applied upstream and downstream of the algorithm by establishing points of human supervision. The critical points of supervision are identified by discussions among professionals, patients and designers. The goal is to ensure that the algorithm remains on a machine learning development path that is medically effective, can be interrogated and is ethically responsible; it involves active partnership with patients and the public, such as meaningful public consultation and debate (101). Ultimately, such work should be validated by regulatory agencies or other supervisory authorities. When something does go wrong in application of an AI technology, there should be accountability. Appropriate mechanisms should be adopted to ensure questioning by and redress for individuals and groups adversely affected by algorithmically informed decisions. This should include access to prompt, effective remedies and redress from governments and companies that deploy AI technologies for health care. Redress should include compensation, rehabilitation, restitution, sanctions where necessary and a guarantee of non repetition. The use of AI technologies in medicine requires attribution of responsibility within complex systems in which responsibility is distributed among numerous agents. When medical decisions by AI technologies harm individuals, responsibility and accountability processes should clearly identify the relative roles of manufacturers and clinical users in the harm. This is an evolving challenge and remains unsettled in the laws of most countries. Institutions have not only legal liability but also a duty to assume responsibility for decisions made by the algorithms they use, even if it is not feasible to explain in detail how the algorithms produce their results. To avoid diffusion of responsibility, in which “everybody’s problem becomes nobody’s responsibility”, a faultless responsibility model (“collective responsibility”), in which all the agents involved in the development and deployment of an AI technology are held responsible, can encourage all actors to act with integrity and minimize harm. In such a model, the actual intentions of each agent (or actor) or their ability to control an outcome are not considered.

Published by World Health Organization (WHO) in Key ethical principles for use of artificial intelligence for health, Jun 28, 2021