On 6 February, ITPE held the Professional Ethics Expert Group meeting. Speakers included Irina Raicu, (Markkula Centre for Applied Ethics), Mary Cleary (ICS/TC 428), Juan Pablo Peñarrubia (CCII), Stefan Kunkel (IWS), Declan Brady (CEPIS) and P.P. Verroen (KNVI).
Irina Raicu talked about the US-based centre’s approach to help technology companies embed ethical standards and analysis across their product development, design, deployment, and post-delivery processes. She noted that ethical issues are a relatively new focus point in companies, and that the various aspects are progressing at different speeds. For example, privacy concerns are by now understood and highlighted in most companies, while integrating ethical analysis in the overall work practice is still lacking.
Mary Cleary gave the highlights of the TC 428 expert group and presented ongoing projects, including the new ethics framework. Juan Pablo Peñarrubia went through the milestones of the Spanish government, including an upcoming national regulation on algorithms. Stefan Kunkel presented the newly developed concept ‘Ethics behind the train’ looking at how and why professional ethics should be more deeply integrated in ICT sector management. Declan Brady presented the ‘Sherpa’ project, which is a European Commission funded initiative that discusses various ethical scenarios of implementing AI in industry.
P.P. Verroen talked about the threats of automated processes via algorithms, and the need for a mechanism that critically analyses a system’s process and can replace the algorithm with manual labour if deemed necessary. More details can be found on the ITPE website.