Technology

How IBM is preparing for a new era of A.I. ethics

For the past six years, Francesca Rossi has led the development of an ethical framework for IBM’s artificial intelligence technology—but she doesn’t like to use the term “ethical A.I.” Sitting at a well-appointed desk in her home office in Mount Kisco, N.Y., a pink orchid bowing over her shoulder, the research scientist explains the term’s limitations. “Technology is not ethical or unethical, it’s the whole ecosystem around it,” she says, referring to the ethics guiding its multiple stakeholders, from researchers and developers to economists, policymakers, and consumers. “The goal is obvious—to take the best out of A.I., to make it as beneficial as possible, and to avoid the negative impacts.”

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