IEEE Program Tackles Challenges of Ethics in Automation

The Ethics Certification Program for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, announced by the IEEE Standards Association this week, will develop standards for reliability and safety of products and services that use artificial intelligence and automation technology.

Automation technology is moving fast, and a new certification program from IEEE aims to ensure that the ethical elements keep up with the tech.

This week, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) announced the creation of the Ethics Certification Program for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (ECPAIS), which will focus on building processes for ensuring standards in autonomous technology. The program, which complements IEEE’s P7000 standards for addressing ethical concerns in technology, will focus on issues of transparency, accountability, and algorithmic bias.

“The proliferation of systems in the form of smart homes, companion robots, autonomous vehicles, or any myriad of products and services that already exist today desperately need to easily and visually communicate to consumers and citizens whether they are deemed ‘safe’ or ‘trusted’ by a globally recognized body of experts providing a publicly available and transparent series of marks,” IEEE-SA states on its website.

The program is being organized as a public-private partnership, with companies such as Accenture and Vega Systems joining federal agencies such as Finland’s Ministry of Finance and municipalities such as the city of Vienna.

In a news release, IEEE-SA Managing Director Konstantinos Karachalios said that the program is a response to broad consumer interest in the issue and that solving these challenges is a “critical enabler” for realizing the full value of automation.

“It becomes more and more evident that consumers and citizens of the world are expecting technology to conform with ethical principles beyond functionality,” Karachalios said.

The ECPAIS Program Executive Committee will meet for the first time this fall and plans to craft criteria and processes for development of standards next year.

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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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