SAP has announced its guiding principles for artificial intelligence (AI) and its creation of an external AI ethics advisory panel – the first European technology company to do so.
The panel, comprised of experts from academia, politics and industry, will ensure the adoption of the principles and further develop them in collaboration with the AI steering committee at SAP, a group of SAP executives from development, strategy and human resources.
The new guidelines, the external panel and the internal committee aim to ensure that the AI capabilities supported by SAP Leonardo Machine Learning capabilities are used to maintain integrity and trust in all solutions. As the market leader in enterprise technology that touches 77 percent of the world’s transaction revenue and serves more than 400,000 customers worldwide, SAP solutions and applications impact the lives of billions of people daily.
“SAP considers the ethical use of data a core value,” said Luka Mucic, chief financial officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP Se. “We want to create software that enables the intelligent enterprise and actually improves people’s lives. Such principles will serve as the basis to make AI a technology that augments human talent.”
SAP guiding principles reflect the company’s commitment to comply with the highest ethical standards. They highlight the core values SAP applies to enable business beyond bias, maintain transparency and integrity and uphold quality and safety. These principles support SAP in refusing to compromise on data protection and privacy, and enable SAP to be an active participant in the community that is engaged in resolving the wider societal challenges of AI.
Five members of the advisory panel have already been confirmed:
- Dr. theol. Peter Dabrock, Chair of Systematic Theology (Ethics), University of Erlangen-Nuernberg
- Dr. Henning Kagermann, Chairman, acatechBoard of Trustees; acatech Senator
- Susan Liautaud, Lecturer in Public Policy and Law, Stanford & Founder; Managing Director, Susan Liautaud & Associates Limited (SLAL)
- Dr. Helen Nissenbaum, Professor, Cornell Tech Information Science
- Nicholas Wright, Consultant, Intelligent Biology; Affiliated Scholar, Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics Georgetown University Medical Center; Honorary Research Associate, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London
SAP plans to add more members to the panel in coming months.
“AI offers immense opportunities, but it also raises unprecedented and often unpredictable ethics challenges for society and humanity,” said Susan Liautaud. “The AI ethics advisory panel allows us to ensure an ethical AI, which serves humanity and benefits society.”
Implementing a European Strategy for AI
The guiding principles also contribute to Europe’s debate on AI. The European Commission has appointed Markus Noga, senior vice president, Machine Learning, SAP, to the high-level expert group on AI. The group was created to design a European AI strategy and propose ethical guidelines relating to fairness, safety, transparency, the future of work and democracy by early 2019.
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