Recommendations from Happiness Roundtable 2020 AI & Well-being

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Grassroots leaders in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Happiness & Well-being movement convened for the Happiness Roundtable on December 28 of 2020.

The following recommendations emerged from their visions and conversation.

We recognize that the fourth industrial revolution is underway today in which AI is playing a growing role fundamentally shaping our lives, communities, work, governments, nations and ecosystems - now and in the future.

We recognize that owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, our reliance on technology and AI in work, families, community, government and so many aspects of our lives has broadened and deepened, and we expect this relationship to accelerate and become yet broader and deeper over time.

We call for this fourth industrial revolution to be characterized by the prioritization of the wellbeing of all beings – humans, nonhumans and nature – in every aspect of AI, from ideation to implementation, for all uses and in all structures in which AI permeates.

We are deeply concerned that AI based on current dominant business, governance and societal values and metrics may result in ever deeper and more damaging social injustice, economic inequality and ecological decimation, culminating in the collapse of systems that support human civilization and all forms of life..

We recognize the good sense of Einstein’s statement that “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.�

We call for imagination, visioning, deep questioning, iterative examination and reflection for all aspects of AI by all - from AI industry practitioners to academics, researchers, artists, policy-makers, investigative journalists and the public.

We call for all actors to embrace openness and transparency, with the aim of learning from AI successes and mistakes.

We call for modeling and scenario planning to examine AI’s intended and unintended impacts on our well-being, and ensure data and information management is geared towards strengthening our well-being, inclusive of planetary well-being.

We recognize that values – at the individual, organizational and societal levels - drive all decisions and actions. We recognize values are embedded in AI. We recognize that the metrics that are used to measure success have a direct impact on the values of people, business, government and other institutions.

We call for the use of well-being metrics in the creation and use of AI – starting today with recommender systems as well as budgeting and other decision systems - as we learn, develop and integrate well-being metrics for AI into AI systems and the structures that deliver AI. We call upon these systems to expand their metrics beyond human concerns to those of entire ecosystems

We call for a dynamic learning and adaptive approach to our understanding of well-being and to the identification and use of well-being metrics for AI.

We call for deep questioning and contemplation about how values influence and are influenced by the structure of AI systems, and the structure of the socio-technical context within which AI is delivered.

We recognize the fundamental significance that data play in AI and society. We recognize that foundational to healthy, equitable and functioning societies and nations, is access to information and equal bargaining power.

We call for level playing fields at the local, national and global levels whereby: (1) Personal data is protected. (2) People have unassailable rights concerning the use or sale of their data. (3) Explainability of AI systems and transparency in its use to be the norm. (4) People are able to make meaningful decisions about how AI impacts their lives and well-being. (5) Environmental impacts are calculated. (6) With personal data-protection in place and data and information are accessible and publicly available.

The statements expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the opinion of any single member of the Happiness Roundtable 2020 AI & Well-being


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