To mark the German government’s Digital Summit, digital industry association Bitkom has published a position paper on the topic of "artificial intelligence as a decision-making tool". The paper looks at key aspects of AI and explains the opportunities it presents. It also covers the development of the technology and provides specific recommendations for political action. *um Data Scientist Helena Mihaljevic-Brandt was involved in the compilation of the paper.
Bitkom compiled the position paper – entitled “Artificial intelligence as a decision-making tool – economic impact, social challenges and human responsibility” in partnership with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). Its target audience includes government ministries and regulatory bodies, decision-makers in industry and political parties, scientists, the media, and interested members of the general public.
The aim of the initiative was to publish, in one place, the bundled knowledge and competence of the involved parties on corporate and social responsibility when using AI in decision-making processes.
There are many factors indicating that the time is ripe for this step, including rapid progress in the field of data collection and the ever-increasing frequency of opportunities to interact with virtual agents; with the major prerequisites already fulfilled, profound and far-reaching change in our society and economy has been on the cards for some time.
Cognitive systems rely on big data and AI, and are already able to accomplish a diverse range of tasks. Over the next few years, the abilities of these systems will continue to expand. It is important to understand the economic and societal consequences of this new cognitive age, and to consider questions that are relevant to our economy, political system, and society at large. These questions include:
- What does the increased use of AI mean for individuals, companies, parties, social groups, and organizations?
- How will it affect perceptions of civil liberties? How will it affect political processes and decisions?
- Which ethical principles should apply to systems that use AI?
- To what degree should algorithms be used in decisions that affect health, education, careers, or a person’s financial situation?
- Who is responsible for decisions made with the assistance of algorithms?
The summary of the position paper published for the Digital Summit provides an overview of the paper’s key arguments and recommendations for political action. The summary is available to download (available in German language only). An unabridged version – including the full *um report on transparent and plausible “Whitebox AI” – will be published in July. To be continued.