Many articles try to scare you about Artificial Intelligence, warning you about how robots might become evil and all that sort of things, but AI is not all about robots. More and more people work in Data Science, so now is the time to raise awareness about ethics. Not only should AI be safe, but it should also be inclusive. That is why many oaths have appeared, from big companies’ CEOs (Brad Smith and Harry Shum’s, AIlen Institute for AI’s CEO Oren Etzioni’s) to set an example, but also from individuals around the world (mostly Data Scientists) whose only agenda is to commit to the right path.
Why have/take an oath ?
Because there have been some unethical behavior in AI and there will probably be more. AI depends on people, and people do not always do the right thing. Having an AI oath may avoid people from playing gods. It is not a fact, but it is always reassuring. Medicine professionals take an oath, so why not AI professionals ?
Sure, Signing the oath will not make you do things the right way. It is a choice that no one can force you to make, or stick to. But that being said, it sure shows people’s will to do good and can only make someone more trustworthy.
The Holberton-Turing oath
Initiated by Aurélie Jean and Grégory Renard, the oath takes its name from Frances Elizabeth “Betty” Holberton and Alan Mathison Turing, which is already a good start. As a reminder, Frances Holberton was part of the ENIAC six programmers and allowed huge progress in computer debugging by inventing “breakpoints”. Alan Turing was many things, from mathematician to philosopher. He is said to be the father of computer science.
The Holberton-Turing oath is “made to gather all AI experts in the world around shared values and moral to drive them to use their skills by insuring their integrity and by avoiding any threat to any life being.”