For more than a century, IBM has earned the trust of our clients by responsibly managing their most valuable data, and we have worked to earn the trust of society by ushering powerful new technologies into the world responsibly and with clear purpose.
IBM has for decades followed core principles – grounded in commitments to Trust and Transparency – that guide its handling of client data and insights, and also its responsible development and deployment of new technologies, such as IBM Watson.
We encourage all technology companies to adopt similar principles to protect client data and insights, and to ensure the responsible and transparent use of artificial intelligence and other transformative innovations. We offer our own Trust and Transparency Principles here as a roadmap. They include:
- The purpose of AI is to augment human intelligence
- Data and insights belong to their creator
- New technology, including AI systems, must be transparent and explainable
The Purpose of AI is to Augment Human Intelligence
The purpose of AI and cognitive systems developed and applied by IBM is to augment – not replace – human intelligence. Our technology is and will be designed to enhance and extend human capability and potential. At IBM, we believe AI should make ALL of us better at our jobs, and that the benefits of the AI era should touch the many, not just the elite few. To that end, we are investing in initiatives to help the global workforce gain the skills needed to work in partnership with these technologies.
Investing in skills for the era of man + machine
- IBM does not believe taxing automation or penalizing innovation is an effective substitute for investing in the workforce of the future.
- IBM is working with policymakers to modernize education systems to emphasize in-demand skills rather than focusing solely on specific academic degrees.
- Better preparing more students and workers for modern careers, including well-paying new collar jobs, will help ensure that more people have an opportunity to benefit from technology-driven economic growth.
- IBM encourages governments to:
- Better align education with in-demand skills and competencies;
- Support business investment in retraining employees; and
- Encourage individuals to invest in skills for career advancement.
Data and Insights Belong to their Creator
New Technology, Including AI Systems, Must be Transparent and Explainable
For the public to trust AI, it must be transparent. Technology companies must be clear about who trains their AI systems, what data was used in that training and, most importantly, what went into their algorithm’s recommendations. If we are to use AI to help make important decisions, it must be explainable.
IBM will make clear:
- When and for what purposes AI is being applied in the cognitive solutions we develop and deploy.
- The major sources of data and expertise that inform the insights of cognitive solutions, as well as the methods used to train those systems and solutions.
- That while bias can never be fully eliminated, and our work to eliminate it will never be complete, we and all companies advancing AI have an obligation to address it proactively. We therefore continually test our systems and find new data sets to better align their output with human values and expectations.
- The principle that clients own their own business models and intellectual property and that they can use AI and cognitive systems to enhance the advantages they have built. We will work with our clients to protect their data and insights, and will encourage our clients, partners and industry colleagues to adopt similar practices.
- Our firm support for transparency and data governance policies that will ensure people understand how an AI system came to a conclusion or recommendation.