The Ethics of AI Business Practices: A Review of 47 AI Ethics Guidelines
AI and Ethics (Forthcoming)
55 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2022
Date Written: January 31, 2022
Many AI ethics guidelines have recently been published that center the fairness, accountability, sustainability, and transparency of algorithmic decision-making. Relatively few guidelines center the ethics of the business decision-making processes and practices in which AI systems are situated. We present the findings of a semi-systematic literature review and thematic analysis aimed at determining the extent to which the ethics of AI business practices are considered in a large sample of guidelines. Our review reveals that the political and economic implications of AI business practices are greatly underrepresented in AI ethics guidelines. At present, AI ethics guidelines focus disproportionately on issues of algorithmic decision-making, while the fairness, accountability, sustainability, and transparency of the business decision-making contexts in which AI systems are situated remain seriously undermined by competitive and speculative norms, ethics washing, corporate secrecy, and other harmful business practices. We discuss these challenges, and we suggest that the ontological and disciplinary scope of future AI ethics guidelines should be expanded to better contend with them.
Keywords: AI ethics, AI systems, business practices, business ethics, political economy, literature review, thematic analysis
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