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IEEE Standards Association Introduces Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems

Industry Connections Program to identify needs and build consensus for standards, certifications and codes of conduct regarding the ethical implementation of intelligent technologies

PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 05 April 2016 - IEEE, the world's largest professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today announced the launch of a new IIEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) Industry Connections (IC) program: The Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems. The new Initiative is global, open and inclusive, welcoming all individuals or representatives of organizations dedicated to ethical considerations in the design of autonomous systems.

"Technologies, methodologies, and systems that are intended to reduce human intervention are poised to transform the lives of individuals in a multitude of unique and beneficial ways," notes Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director for IEEE SA. "As machines increasingly assist humans in a multitude of critical and sensitive tasks, it is important to prioritize the use of ethical considerations in the design of these emergent systems, and this new Initiative will help ensure that we are working to advance technology for humanity under principled disciplines."

The Global Initiative is part of a broader IEEE effort on ethics in technology, which includes a new Ethics, Society & Technology Program focused on creating and expanding debates, dialogue and conversation so that all aspects of an ethics issue are examined.

Bringing together experts in fields relating to autonomous systems and their ethics, including robotics, artificial intelligence, computational intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, cognitive computing, affective computing, and, in general, algorithmically-based programs, Initiative members will span fields that include engineering, law, science, economics, ethics, philosophy, politics, and health.

Initiative participants will have their first face-to-face meeting at the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI), to be held this August in The Hague, Netherlands. Several committees will provide potential standardization projects and language for codes of conduct regarding ethics and autonomous systems for discussion in open working groups. An Executive Committee comprised of multiple experts within the realms of artificial intelligence, autonomous technologies, and ethics will provide strategic guidance for activities and for the Initiative's overall work.

IEEE-SA’s Industry Connections (IC) Program helps incubate new standards and related products and services, by facilitating collaboration among organizations and individuals as they hone and refine their thinking on rapidly changing technologies.

For more information, or to become an Initiative member, please visit The Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems website at

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About the IEEE Standards Association 
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE SA has a portfolio of over 1,100 active standards and more than 500 standards under development. For more information visit the IEEE SA Web site.

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