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Responsible development of artificial intelligence – New paper by ENS Professor Jan-Hendrik Passoth in the frame of the EU project ASSISTANT

IMG_3792_C Sebastian Pape_hoch_190 ©Sebastian Pape
cropped-logo-ASSISTANT-6_190 ©Assistant

Jan-Hendrik Passoth, Professor for Sociology of Technology at the European New School (ENS) of the Viadrina, and his team have presented a paper on the responsible development of artificial intelligence. The paper is a crucial interim result within the EU research project ASSISTANT.

The research project is developing so-called digital twins for the optimization of production processes whose components use artificial intelligence. The ENS team is involved in the project to ensure that social, political and ethical requirements are considered in the development process.

"Based on technical architecture documents, we have now, for the first time, been able to present a plan outlining important points to consider in further development. We conducted various workshops discussing the meaning of responsibility in production with project partners from engineering and technical sciences. With the help of this information, we adapted abstract frameworks from the academic field to the project in concrete terms,” says Passoth.

The project particularly focuses on the translation of abstract guidelines and values into concrete issues. "Today, we do not primarily face a lack of value definitions or the definition of goals for artificial intelligence. In fact, our main challenge lies in concretization, meaning the question of what this means for the individual developer," Passoth continues.

One of the paper’s findings: Especially when the development process is shared among different teams, it is often difficult to locate specific responsibility. In case of different components being developed by different people, it is necessary to clearly define responsibilities in terms of transparency or liability, for example. Furthermore, there is a particular focus on the explainability of artificial intelligence decisions to users, project managers and societal stakeholders in order to improve the handling of proposed optimizations.

The developed "Human-Centric Architecture" is only the first step. In the course of the project, the document will be further developed to mirror concretizations in the project. Furthermore, the team will extend the methodology step by step and adapt it to the development processes.

In addition to the European University Viadrina, the following universities and partners are part of the ASSISTANT consortium:

University College Cork (Ireland), University of Patras - Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation (Greece), Flanders Make (Belgium), Technical University of Munich (Germany), Biti Innovations AB (Sweden), SIEMENS AG (Germany), INTRASOFT International (Luxembourg), Atlas Copco (Belgium), SIEMENS Energy (Germany), Groupe PSA (France).

Further information on the project