Advancing impact assessment for intelligent systems. Nature Machine Intelligence, Vol 2, pp 89-91. 2020.
With the rise of AI technologies in society, we need a human impact assessment for technology.
It is the 50th anniversary of the environmental impact assessment (EIA), a significant step towards making engineering more socially responsible. But a growing number of policymakers are now voicing the need for an approach to assess the human and social impacts of intelligent systems. We discuss how the EIA provides a partial blueprint for what we call a human impact assessment for technology (HIAT), and how more recent algorithmic and data protection impact assessment initiatives can contribute. We also discuss how ethical frameworks for such a human impact assessment could draw on recently established artificial intelligence (AI) ethics principles. We argue that this approach will help build trust in an industry facing increasing criticism and scrutiny.