Ethical by Design: Principles for Good Technology

The Ethics Centre recently published a document intended to be used by designers to help them refine their processes and choices to better incorporate ethical issues.

As raised by Dr Matthew Beard and Dr Simon Longstaff AO, the ethics of AI is not only relevant to killer robots and other headline-grabbing topics. The implications of technology not ethically designed can be poignant even when these ethical issues are not obvious.

The end goal is that we build technology that helps to create the best possible world. The design, development and deploying of technologies should be aligned with this end goal in mind. How do we ensure that we are on the right path to achieve that?

The paper addresses this question by proposing a universal ethical framework for technology. This framework should encompass a statement of purpose, core values and guiding principles:

The proposal goes further still to put forward both an ethical design and market assurance process. A valuable proposal considering the difficulty in bringing these ethical ideals into practice.