Code of Con­duct for the use of algo­rithms — start­ing sig­nal for a broad par­tic­i­pa­tion process

We plan the big deal: iRights.Lab devel­ops a qual­i­ty cri­te­ria cat­a­log for social­ly rel­e­vant algo­rith­mic process­es. On behalf of Ber­tels­mann Foun­da­tion iRights.Lab orga­nizes a com­pre­hen­sive process in coop­er­a­tion with high-rank­ing exter­nal spe­cial­ists involv­ing a large num­ber of stake­hold­ers from pol­i­tics, busi­ness, sci­ence and social asso­ci­a­tions.

The eth­i­cal cat­a­log for the par­tic­i­pants in the design of algo­rithms should be com­pa­ra­ble to the Hip­po­crat­ic Oath for physi­cians or the press code for jour­nal­ists. Such a spec­i­fi­ca­tion of qual­i­ty stan­dards is not only an inte­gral part of pro­fes­sion­al ethics, but also a point of ref­er­ence for com­plaints and reviews.
We exam­ine thor­ough­ly and we are going to answer the ques­tion of what the very spe­cif­ic con­di­tions and rules of the game should be. These should be fol­lowed by every­one using algo­rithms.

For many years we have ana­lyzed frame­work con­di­tions in var­i­ous projects and pub­li­ca­tions, con­duct­ed polit­i­cal dis­cus­sions and devel­oped indi­vid­ual pro­pos­als for many dif­fer­ent approach­es. The time has come to bun­dle and imple­ment these results.

Our goal is a code of con­duct which is going to be accept­ed, lived and spread. That’s why we start a broad par­tic­i­pa­tion process with iRights.Lab and invite all stake­hold­ers to con­tribute their exper­tise and expe­ri­ence to the devel­op­ment of the cat­a­log of cri­te­ria”, explains Ralph Müller-Eiselt, Head of the Ethics of Algo­rithms Project at Ber­tels­mann Foun­da­tion.

When draft­ing this code it should be about a com­pre­hen­sive ethics com­pendi­um that does not have a short-term effect, but a long-term social impact.

If we present the result of our work, we do not only want to achieve a nice project on arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, but we want to have set a mile­stone for the use of algo­rithms, all stake­hold­ers in our soci­ety should ben­e­fit from”, said Philipp Otto, founder and exec­u­tive direc­tor of iRights.Lab.

On behalf of