Conference Papers  |  ,   |  November 27, 2019

Implementing Ethics in AI: Initial Results of an Industrial Multiple Case Study

Conference paper by Ville Vakkuri, Kai-Kristian Kemell and Pekka Abrahamsson.
Presented at PROFES 2019, the International Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement.


Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly widespread in system development endeavors. As AI systems affect various stakeholders due to their unique nature, the growing influence of these systems calls for ethical considerations. Academic discussion and practical examples of autonomous system failures have highlighted the need for implementing ethics in software development. However, research on methods and tools for implementing ethics into AI system design and development in practice is still lacking. This paper begins to address this focal problem by providing elements needed for producing a baseline for ethics in AI based software development. We do so by means of an industrial multiple case study on AI systems development in the healthcare sector. Using a research model based on extant, conceptual AI ethics literature, we explore the current state of practice out on the field in the absence of formal methods and tools for ethically aligned design.