Ethics Board for COGNIMAN established

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Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are becoming increasingly integral to our personal and professional lives. This is also reflected by EU legislation on AI, which companies will have to adopt within two years of the enforcement of the AI Act.

Recognising that the development and implementation of AI and automation come with great responsibility, COGNIMAN has established an Ethics Board to oversee its operations from a moral and ethical standpoint. It consists of four people from both research and industry with a varied perspective on the project: Sabine T. Köszegi from TU Wien, Austria; Giuseppe Contissa from European University Institute, Italy; Pamela Krzypkowska from Microsoft, Poland; and Roger von Laufenberg from Vienna Centre for Societal Security, Austria.

Recipe for success

COGNIMAN strives to implement solutions that rely on AI and collaborative robotics, among other technologies, in manufacturing plants. This implies a change of routines, which makes it of utmost importance that the directly impacted workers are part of the evolution from the start. Their thoughts and apprehensions need to be considered just as their know-how is. This lays the foundation for implementing the new solutions successfully.

Ethics in COGNIMAN

With DeepBlue, COGNIMAN has a project partner who wears the ethics glasses by default. They lead all tasks related to ethics requirements and have been instrumental in putting together the Ethics Board. While DeepBlue supervises the development of the solutions, the Ethics Board will serve as an external eye, ensuring that the project adheres to the highest ethical standards.

The Ethics Board’s focus is to ensure that the fundamental rights of humans are respected throughout the project. This includes focusing on several critical aspects, such as reliability, privacy, data governance, diversity, non-discrimination and accountability. The board’s commitment extends to identifying and addressing any negative societal and environmental impacts of implementing COGNIMAN solutions.

In March, the four members of the Ethics Board will come together for the first time. Following this, periodic feedback sessions will begin in May 2024. These interactions will enable the board to stay closely involved with the project’s development and implementation.

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