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Rolls-Royce announces AI ethics framework, will make it available to all

Rolls-Royce has announced an AI ethics framework to ensure that decisions taken by the technology are ethical.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 2, 2020 7:09:48 pm
Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer Warren EastRolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer Warren East

In what could increase the trust individuals and the society have on artificial intelligence which has started permeating many parts of daily life, Rolls-Royce has announced an AI ethics framework to ensure that decisions taken by the technology are ethical. The company has also announced a five-layer checking system focuses on ensuring the outcomes of the constantly-changing AI algorithms can be trusted.

“There is no practical reason why trust in AI cannot be created now. And it’s only with the acceptance and permission of our society – based on that trust – that the full benefits of AI can be realised, and it can take its place as a partner in our lives and work,” Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer Warren East said in his keynote speech at the London Tech Week’s AI Summit. He said by publishing its findings, Rolls-Royce wanted to move the AI ethics conversation forwards from discussing concepts and guidelines, “to accelerating the process of applying it ethically”.

East said his company was “open to collaborative innovation and we will continue to talk to key stakeholders, customers, counterparts and technology leaders to share our work in detail to see how we can help each other progress for the greater growth, wealth and health of our world.”

The ethics framework and its trust process have been peer reviewed by subject matter experts in several big tech firms, as well as experts in the automotive, pharmaceutical, academic and government sectors, a Rolls-Royce release said, adding that the same will also be published in full under Creative Commons licence later this year on the Rolls-Royce.com website.

Rolls-Royce, one of the leading industrial technology companies, has been using advanced analytics for more than 30 years and first used AI for real-time engine health monitoring way back in 1999. These latest breakthroughs have been achieved as a part of attempts to apply AI across its business, including the use of robotic inspections on critical components, and has been spearheaded by R2 Data Labs, its data innovation business.

“We analyse more than 5 million data parameters from our engines every day. We use AI to provide insights to our engineers. If we spot anything that’s out of the ordinary, we can dispatch a maintenance crew to be ready on the ground when that aircraft lands,” explained East, who has been with Rolls-Royce since 2014.

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“Of course, there’s a dark side. But I believe we can do better than dismissing a new technology or tool because of the scary bits,” East said in the keynote delivered virtually on Wednesday.

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