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Designing Privacy into Artificial Intelligence

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By David Hoffman, Global Privacy Officer for Intel

At the 39th International Conference of the Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Hong Kong, Intel’s Worapat Patram spoke on the need to capture ethical obligations in artificial intelligence implementations. Mr. Patram is Intel’s privacy lead for the Asia Pacific and Japan region and works to apply Intel’s global approach to privacy to the highly varied cultures across the region.


The Conference is an annual event that brings together the world’s data protection and privacy regulators, and after 17 years returned to Asia. Holding the conference in Asia is particularly significant due to the privacy dynamism in the region, with legislation and major court cases creating new privacy regimes (e.g. Japan, Singapore, Korea, Thailand and very recently India). The regulators focused the agenda for the conference on applying privacy to future technology. There was considerable discussion of the potential privacy impact from advances in artificial intelligence.


Mr. Patram noted Intel’s substantial investment in artificial intelligence and how it will fuel the next generation of economic progress and the ability for technology to improve people’s lives. To realize artificial intelligence’s potential, individuals will need to trust the privacy and security controls designed into the technology. Integrating these controls will require determining when the technology is making "ethical" decisions. Those determinations will require an understanding of local context and the unique historical, economic and social cultures of different countries.

To help with this complex task of enabling the ethical and innovative use of artificial intelligence, Intel has worked with the Information Accountability Foundation to develop a framework for organizations to analyze the ethical implications of the use of artificial intelligence. This flexible framework is the type of technology neutral risk management approach that will scale as the technology evolves. The framework nests well under privacy laws based on the Organization for Economic Collaboration and Development’s privacy guidelines articulation of the fair information practice principles, which have been described as “the global common language of privacy” and are the basis for Intel’s Rethinking Privacy initiative to integrate ethical concepts into the development and use of new technology.