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An embedded ethics approach for AI development

There is a need to consider how AI developers can be practically assisted in identifying and addressing ethical issues. In this Comment, a group of AI engineers, ethicists and social scientists suggest embedding ethicists into the development team as one way of improving the consideration of ethical issues during AI development.

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The support by the Bavarian Institute for Digital Transformation is gratefully acknowledged. L.A.C. is funded by the National Institute of Health through NIBIB R01 EB017205.

Author information




S.M. and A.B. conceived the initial idea of the paper. S.M. prepared the initial draft with the assistance of A.F., in regular discussion with A.B., who provided feedback and comments. L.A.C., R.M., J.H., K.R. and S.H. reviewed the draft and critically revised it for important intellectual content. All authors read and approved the final version of the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Stuart McLennan.

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Competing interests

A.B. is a member of the German Ethics Council. S.H. is a member of the European High-Level Group on Artificial Intelligence, and is a founder of robotics company Franka Emika.

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McLennan, S., Fiske, A., Celi, L.A. et al. An embedded ethics approach for AI development. Nat Mach Intell 2, 488–490 (2020).

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