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Principles and Positioning Statement

This statement applies to both the website at aiethics.ai and to the Linkedin group – AI and Robot Ethics UK. It puts forward a view of where these fit into the bigger picture of organisations working in this area.

Cross sector: AIethics.AI aspires to be cross sector, bringing together academics, the public, government / public sector and commercial organisations to take forward ideas in artificial intelligence and robot ethics. It aims to be representative of these groups and not partial to any of them. It welcomes all positions on ethical issues and the exchange of ideas on these positions.

Independent: AIethics.AI aims to be independent of partial interests. It positions as a general resource, facilitator of debate / discussion and ‘broker’ of ideas and issues. While funding and sponsorship can potentially become an issue, at it’s present size, independence is not a concern. There are many far better resourced organisations working in this area. The potential strength of AIethics.AI is the diversity of its membership and the lack of a paymaster determining its direction.

Accountable and transparent: AIethics.AI aims to be accountable to the principles of impartiality, fairness and transparency. It is not currently involved in any ‘hard’ decision-making processes that are likely to affect the implementation of laws, policies, or practice. Any influence it has is more likely to be ‘soft’, making it, perhaps less immediately impactful, but also less easy to identify. Currently the mechanisms of accountability and transparency come down to editorial policies that promote openness, challenge and debate in relation to any of its activities.

Attribution: Any views expressed by individuals posting to the LinkedIn group or on the website are assumed to be those of the individual author(s) and not any organisation they are employed by or are connected with.

Geography: AIethics.AI is run from Cambridge UK and tends to emphasise activity in the UK. However, the website and the Linkedin group are open internationally and the topics addressed are of global interest and concern. International interest and contributions are welcome.

With this positioning and these principles in mind, I encourage individuals and organisations of all kinds, whether or not they have collegiate or competitive relationships, to join in what aims to be an informed and reasoned debate on ethical issues and impacts of artificial intelligence and robotics. Indeed, reluctance to join in open discussion and debate can raise its own concerns.

AI and robotics is a pervasive technology spanning from its use in social media to lethal autonomous weapons. The more awareness, understanding and debate about these issues the more likely we are to spot the unintended consequences.

If you have comments on these principles and positioning then please ENGAGE.

Join the Linkedin Group called AI and Robot Ethics UK

This statement was written by Rod Rivers (http://uk.linkedin.com/in/rodrivers) on 14th October 2019.