Rolls-Royce announces breakthroughs in AI ethics

London, UK- Rolls-Royce has announced two breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence (AI) ethics, which could help gain society’s trust of the technology and accelerate the next generation of industrialization, known as industry 5.0.

The first breakthrough is an AI ethics framework, which is a method that any Organization can use to ensure the decisions it takes to use AI in critical and non-critical applications are ethical. This is the first time AI ethics for industrial contexts has moved beyond theory and into practical application.

Secondly, within that framework, is the first step-by-step process for ensuring the outcomes of AI algorithms can be trusted. This five-layer checking system focuses on the outputs of algorithms, not the algorithms themselves, which are constantly changing. The checking system prevents biases from developing in algorithms undetected and with results being constantly monitored, it ensures they are trustworthy.

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. Both will be published in full under Creative Commons license later this year on the website.

In this backdrop, Warren East, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce said, “By publishing our findings we want to move the AI ethics conversation forwards from discussing concepts and guidelines, to accelerating the process of applying it ethically. There is no practical reason why trust in AI cannot be created now. And it is only with the acceptance and permission of our society – based on that trust – that the full benefits of AI can be realized, and it can take its place as a partner in our lives and work.”

Rolls-Royce is one of the world’s leading industrial technology companies and has been applying advanced analytics for more than 30 years, and using AI to disrupt the market with its real-time engine health monitoring service since 1999. These latest breakthroughs have been achieved as a part of its work to apply AI throughout its business, including the use of robotic inspections on critical components. The AI development work is spearheaded by the company’s data innovation business, R2 Data Labs.

Caroline Gorski, Global Director, R2 Data Labs, said: “Rolls-Royce's AI capabilities are embedded deeply into other companies' products and services and so are not widely known. Rolls-Royce’s?AI does not often feature?in?a?consumers' understanding of how the digital world is changing their lives. The current debate about the use of AI is focused on?the consumer and?the treatment of consumer and personal data. But we believe that what we have created – by dealing with a challenge rooted squarely in?the industrial application of AI – will help not only with the application of AI in other industries but far more widely.”

The two breakthroughs were made during work around an internal assurance challenge where robotic inspections were proposed for the inspections of critical components. During the peer review process, it became apparent that both the ethical framework around that decision making, as well as the trustworthiness process, were new and had the potential to be applied across all uses of artificial intelligence.

Image Source: Rolls-Royce

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