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How Ethics and Governance Could Save Democracies

Companies, organisations, goverments and individuals all have a responsibility when it comes to saving our democracy. According to Ulrike Reisach, Professor at the Information Management Department of Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences in Bavaria/Germany, we have a whole lot to do. We should introduce a ‘license to use’ for individuals so they better understand their own role and their data’s role in the current digital economy. And we should make new legisations with a ‘license to operate’ for companies and organisaitons. There are just two of the ideas introduced in a recent talk by professor Ulrike Reisach “Artificial Intelligence and Ethics – How Ethics and Governance Could Contain the Manipulation of Societies” at the 30th European Conference on Operational Research in Dublin in June 2019. In her talk she focuses on manipulated information which aims at election decisions and machine learning systems for tracking, profiling, forecasting and the provision of directly or indirectly misleading recommendations. Groups with different opinions can get polarized by the digital echo or reinforcement of their fears, assumptions, and prejudices. This can cause their turn to demagogy and endanger democracies which cherish the freedom of expression. For example, the Brexit referendum, and the presidential elections in the USA and Brazil, have started a heavy discussion whether and how machine learning techniques could influence citizens’ decisions.
The full speech is available as a video on the conference platform.