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IBM and Microsoft Have Integrated AI Ethical Standards into Their Operations, So Can You

New educational program covers topics you need to know such as transparency and data privacy

2 min read
Illustration of computers and other icons.
Illustration: iStockphoto

THE INSTITUTE The use of artificial intelligence continues to grow across industries including finance, health care, manufacturing, and transportation. The technology’s popularity has created a need for ethical standards that focus on equality, security, and privacy.

Companies including IBM and Microsoft have already taken steps to incorporate AI in their products. According to a Microsoft case study conducted by the World Economic Forum, the company created a mandatory Introductory to Responsible AI course for all its employees. Its program includes a standard as well as the building blocks of Microsoft’s AI principles.

IBM created an internal ethics board to help ensure its AI technology is fair. Francesca Rossi, global AI ethics leader for IBM, told the Harvard Business Review that the company “has put in place a centralized and multidimensional AI governance framework, centered around the IBM internal AI ethics board, which I co-lead along with IBM’s chief privacy officer. It supports both technical and nontechnical initiatives to operationalize the IBM principles of trust and transparency.”

What can you do to help ensure ethical AI integration with your business operations?

IEEE Educational Activities and the IEEE Standards Association are working together to help organizations responsibly integrate AI in their products, processes, and operations with its five-course eLearning program, AI Standards: Roadmap for Ethical and Responsible Digital Environments.

“It is every organization’s responsibility to have a comprehensive approach to creating ethical and responsible digital ecosystems,” says IEEE Senior Member Eleanor “Nell” Watson, author of the program.

Here are some topics the courses cover:

Organizational transparency

Ethical systems cannot be created in isolation from the people developing them. Technical professionals need to be able to identify factors that relate to organizational transparency, minor differences that might lead to major differences in outcomes, and practical steps toward implementing more consistent and rigorous ethical standards.

Digital ecosystem

One of the five courses covers the importance of why data from minors and students is valuable and requires protection, how Internet-enabled devices gather personal information, and how to better prepare for future technologies.

Data privacy

Technical professionals must understand how privacy assessments are integrated into software engineering and software development models. One course provides practical life cycle tips that engineers and developers can use when reviewing fundamental data. It also provides software engineers with design considerations as they relate to privacy requirements for end users and third-party applications.

View the free on-demand video “AI Standards: Ethical Considerations and Best Practices When Implementing AI in Your Organization” to get a peek at the course program. Learn about the principles that organizations should consider and the steps to be undertaken in implementing AI according to emerging best practices.

Individuals who take the courses can earn up to 0.5 continuing education units or 5 professional development hour credits and a digital badge.

Institutions interested in the program can contact an IEEE account specialist to learn more.

Visit the IEEE Learning Network for member and nonmember pricing.

Johanna Perez is the digital marketing specialist for IEEE Educational Activities.

IEEE membership offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities for those who share a common interest in technology. If you are not already a member, consider joining IEEE and becoming part of a worldwide network of more than 400,000 students and professionals.

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Today’s Robotic Surgery Turns Surgical Trainees Into Spectators

Medical training in the robotics age leaves tomorrow's surgeons short on skills

10 min read
Photo of an operating room. On the left side of the image, two surgeons sit at consoles with their hands on controls. On the right side, a large white robot with four arms operates on a patient.

The dominant player in the robotic surgery industry is Intuitive Surgical, which has more than 6,700 da Vinci machines in hospitals around the world. The robot’s four arms can all be controlled by a single surgeon.

Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images
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Before the robots arrived, surgical training was done the same way for nearly a century.

During routine surgeries, trainees worked with nurses, anesthesiologists, and scrub technicians to position and sedate the patient, while also preparing the surgical field with instruments and lights. In many cases, the trainee then made the incision, cauterized blood vessels to prevent blood loss, and positioned clamps to expose the organ or area of interest. That’s often when the surgeon arrived, scrubbed in, and took charge. But operations typically required four hands, so the trainee assisted the senior surgeon by suctioning blood and moving tissue, gradually taking the lead role as he or she gained experience. When the main surgical task was accomplished, the surgeon scrubbed out and left to do the paperwork. The trainee then did whatever stitching, stapling, or gluing was necessary to make the patient whole again.

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