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The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems Announces Two New Standards Projects

Projects focus on rating trustworthiness of news sources and establishing machine readable personal privacy terms

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PISCATAWAY, NJ, 23 May 2018 - IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), today announced the approval of two new standards projects inspired by work being done by The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (“The IEEE Global Initiative”). Sponsored by The IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology, the new standards projects are the latest additions to the IEEE P7000™ standards family, which supports a principal goal of IEEE to prioritize ethical concerns and human wellbeing in the development of standards that address critical aspects of autonomous and intelligent technologies.

“Explicitly including ethical values in the design and development of human--aligned autonomous and intelligent systems is essential, and IEEE is helping to facilitate this action across a wide range of focus areas,” said Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director for IEEE-SA. “With the foreseeable continued growth and associated impacts of autonomous and intelligent systems in play, it is critical to engage the best and brightest individuals from human science and technical disciplines to help ensure that these systems incorporate broadly accepted ethical considerations through a transparent, globally open, bottom-up standardization system.”

The new IEEE P7000 standards projects are chaired by leading subject matter experts in their respective fields of study and include:

IEEE P7011™ - Standard for the Process of Identifying and Rating the Trustworthiness of News Sources
IEEE P7011 aims to provide semi-autonomous processes using standards to create and maintain news purveyor ratings for purposes of public awareness. It standardizes processes to identify and rate the factual accuracy of news stories in order to produce a rating of online news purveyors and the online portion of multimedia news purveyors. The standard will define an algorithm using open source software and a scorecard rating system as methodology for rating trustworthiness. Joshua Hyman, Public Policy & Management Student & Staff member at the University of Pittsburgh will serve as chair of the IEEE News Site Trustworthiness Working Group.

IEEE P7012™ - Standard for Machine Readable Personal Privacy Terms
Initiated by Doc Searls, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto and author of The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge, IEEE P7012 aims to change the dynamic of peer-to-peer engagement on the Internet, where server operators proffer all terms of engagement, including respect for privacy, forcing individuals to agree to all terms, with no alternative but to decline in totality. IEEE P7012 proposes to provide individuals with means to suggest their own terms respecting personal privacy, in ways that can be read, acknowledged and agreed to by machines operated by others in the networked world. In effect, the purpose of the standard is to enable individuals to operate as first parties in agreements with companies operating as second parties. David Reed, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan will serve as chair of the IEEE Working Group on Machine Readable Privacy Terms.

According to Searls, “It is only because standard-form 'contracts of adhesion' became the norm in the industrial age, and were borrowed for use in client-server settings starting with dial-up, that they continue to be the box outside of which developers have a hard time thinking. But a simple fact remains: we need a way for machines to hear and agree to terms proffered by individuals, in a way that accords with freedom-of-contract as it has been understood and practiced throughout the history of civilization. I expect this working group to provide the standard required for that new norm.”

“IEEE P7011 and IEEE P7012 address societal level trust and privacy issues that have become increasingly sensitive in recent times due to previously undisclosed exploitation and abuse of personal data. This has resulted in heightened public awareness and concern about how personal data is stored and managed by Internet server operators and the ways in which social media platforms, advertisers and other organizations have been shown to exploit personal data including Internet use and search histories” said Paul Cunningham, president, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology.

To learn more about these new standards projects, or to join one of the respective working groups, please visit the IEEE P7011 or IEEE P7012 project page.

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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 1,250 active standards and over 650 standards under development. For more information visit http://standards.ieee.org.

About IEEE
IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice in a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics. Learn more at http://www.ieee.org.