AI Ethics Statement

Christian Strobl Hackerbay

Christian Strobl


Published Sept 30, 2018

BERLIN, GERMANY—September 30, 2018— We stand on the cusp of a new age. For all of history, our inventions, even the most complex, had one thing in common: they succeeded and failed in predictable ways. But artificial intelligence changes all that because AI learns from experience. AI learns how to do its jobs better. AI even learns how to do new jobs.

Because AI learns to perform in ways its designers could not foresee, the technology’s resulting capabilities have already dramatically improved the ways we live and structure our societies. AI, for instance, has made agriculture more efficient and the resulting gains saved millions from hunger. AI has put self-driving cars on the road and in time will prevent untold auto accidents. AI has diagnosed illness that would have otherwise gone undetected and untreated.

As great as these achievements are, we at Hackerbay are well aware that some people are worried about artificial intelligence. We believe that it is the combination of AI’s great power with its inherent uncertainty that provokes so much public anxiety. Which is perfectly understandable: if even designers don’t know exactly how AI will perform before it does so, those working in this industry have a special responsibility to take all precautions to ensure that we always work in a spirit of public service.

To make sure that we reap AI’s benefits while avoiding any possible risks, we at Hackerbay have developed a code of ethics. These three principles will govern our work on any project in which artificial intelligence intersects with people’s lives.

First, we will work only on projects that help people use machines to create more intelligent and fulfilling lives. That means we will help leaders make their businesses more efficient and better organized. We will help workers become more productive. We will help consumers get what they want for less. We will help governments distribute goods and resources efficiently. And we will never work on projects designed to replace people.

Second, in order to uphold our first principle, we will never work on projects designed to cause harm. That means we will not work on weapons. We will not work on surveillance. We will not take on projects that, intentionally or not, reinforce injustice.

Third, and in order to fully uphold our first two principles, we will hold our clients to the same standards we hold ourselves. That means we will only work with clients who are committed to our first two principles in all of their operations. To make sure that clients take this commitment seriously, we will insist that our clients adopt systems of oversight to enforce our code of AI ethics today and in the future.

In short, we believe that AI is like any other powerful new technology. If used correctly, it can save lives and improve the quality of life for everyone. If used incorrectly, it can be a great force for harm and instability.

Hackerbay will always do its part to make AI a force for good. However, if you’re still worried and think we can improve our code of ethics, reach out to us. If we’re missing something, we want to know. Together, we will realize the possibilities of artificial intelligence.