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Shaping the Future with Ethics in AI: IEEE 7000's Role in Today's Innovation Landscape

In the rapidly evolving world of technology and innovation, the Living Standards Award 2023, hosted at the prestigious 4GAMECHANGERS Festival, showcased an array of groundbreaking projects and initiatives that are steering our society towards a more sustainable and technologically advanced future. Among the standout themes this year was the integration of ethical considerations in AI, highlighted by the notable contribution of the IEEE 7000 standard.


Prof. Sarah Spiekermann (WU), Clara Nappel (IEEE Europe), Mario Tokarz (RightMinded AI) with the WU team and guests at the award ceremony.


The Emergence of Ethical AI

The recent event underscored a significant trend in submissions: a growing focus on sustainability and digitalization. Particularly, the topic of "Ethics and AI" captured the audience's attention. The award received by the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien) for their project exemplifies this trend. This project, among other aspects, addresses the mitigation of current threats posed by AI, spotlighting the critical role of ethical frameworks in technology development.


IEEE 7000: A Standard for Ethical System Design

A landmark development in this arena is the IEEE 7000 standard, known as the "Standard Model Process for Addressing Ethical Concerns during System Design." It has been adapted also by ISO and was published as ISO/IEC/IEEE 24748-7000. This pioneering standard is the first of its kind, specifically focusing on ethical considerations in AI system design. IEEE 7000 is unique: With Value-based Engineering (VBE) a practically proven implementation of the standard is available. VBE enables organizations to preemptively mitigate risks and unlock the value creation potential of autonomous systems. It lays down a series of processes for incorporating ethical values into conceptual development, marking a significant stride in responsible technology development.


The Impact of IEEE 7000 and VBE in Real-World Applications

The practical applications of IEEE 7000 and VBE are vast and varied. An exemplary case is its use by UNICEF in Africa for the development of the Yoma platform, aimed at fostering African talent. This instance demonstrates the standard's global relevance and its potential to influence technology development positively, ensuring social compatibility and sustainability.


Outlook

As we continue to navigate the complexities of the digital age, the IEEE 7000 standard emerges as a beacon of responsible innovation. The recognition of such standards at the Living Standards Award 2023 not only celebrates technological advancement but also emphasizes the importance of ethical considerations in shaping a future where technology works in harmony with societal values. This award ceremony has set a precedent, underscoring the need for standards like IEEE 7000 to become integral to the fabric of technological development and innovation.




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