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Responsible AI: Bridging From Ethics to Practice

By Ben Shneiderman

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 64 No. 8, Pages 32-35

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The high expectations of AI have triggered worldwide interest and concern, generating 400+ policy documents on responsible AI. Intense discussions over the ethical issues lay a helpful foundation, preparing researchers, managers, policy makers, and educators for constructive discussions that will lead to clear recommendations for building the reliable, safe, and trustworthy systems6 that will be commercial success. This Viewpoint focuses on four themes that lead to 15 recommendations for moving forward. The four themes combine AI thinking with human-centered User Experience Design (UXD).

Ethics and Design. Ethical discussions are a vital foundation, but raising the edifice of responsible AI requires design decisions to guide software engineering teams, business managers, industry leaders, and government policymakers. Ethical concerns are catalogued in the Berkman Klein Center report3 that offers ethical principles in eight categories: privacy, accountability, safety and security, transparency and explainability, fairness and non-discrimination, human control of technology, professional responsibility, and promotion of human values. These important ethical foundations can be strengthened with actionable design guidelines.


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