The Ethics of AI Business Practices: A Review of 47 AI Ethics Guidelines

AI and Ethics (Forthcoming)

55 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2022

See all articles by Blair Attard-Frost

Blair Attard-Frost

University of Toronto, Faculty of Information

Andrés De los Ríos

Doblin, a Deloitte Business

Deneille R. Walters

Independent Education Design & Technology Consultant

Date Written: January 31, 2022

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Attard-Frost, Blair and De los Ríos, Andrés and R. Walters, Deneille, The Ethics of AI Business Practices: A Review of 47 AI Ethics Guidelines (January 31, 2022). AI and Ethics (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4034804 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4034804

Blair Attard-Frost (Contact Author)

University of Toronto, Faculty of Information ( email )

140 St George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G6
Canada

Andrés De los Ríos

Doblin, a Deloitte Business ( email )

Deneille R. Walters

Independent Education Design & Technology Consultant ( email )

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