The German Data Ethics Commission issued a 240-page report with 75 recommendations for regulating data, algorithmic systems, and AI. It is one of the strongest views on ethical AI to date and favors explicit regulation.
The Data Ethics Commission holds the view that regulation is necessary, and cannot be replaced by ethical principles.Opinion of the Data Ethics Commission – Executive Summary at 7 (emphasis original).
The report divides ethical considerations into concerns about either data or algorithmic systems. For data, the report suggests that rights associated with the data will play a significant role in the ethical landscape. For example, ensuring that individuals provide informed consent for use of their personal data addresses a number of significant ethical issues.
For algorithmic systems, however, the report suggests that the AI systems might have no connection to the affected individuals. As a result, even non-personal data for which there are no associated rights could be used in an unethical manner. The report concludes that regulation is necessary to the extent there is a potential for harm.
The report identifies five levels of algorithmic system criticality. Applications with zero or negligible potential for harm would face no regulation. The regulatory burden would increase as the potential for harm increases, up to a total ban. For applications with serious potential for harm, the report recommends constant oversight.
The framework appears to be a good candidate for future ethical AI regulation in Europe, and perhaps (by default) the world.