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Discussion from the AIWS Roundtable: Transparency is not a luxury

The world’s current growing pandemic of the Wuhan virus amplifies the paramount and ultimate goal of our AI initiative.  Our vision is to establish a universal AI value system ensuring that AI technology advancement would make lives better and not give ruling authority more tools to oppress or exacerbate human suffering.

The number one of our AI Universal World Guidelines states:

“Right to Transparency: All individuals have the right to know the basis of an AI decision that concerns them.  This includes access to the factors, the logic, and techniques that produces the outcome.”

While our world is still preoccupied with fighting the Wuhan virus, it has been so clear to all that had the ruling power of China been more fort coming with it people and with the world, this pandemic could have been avoided or its killing impact could have been much more limited.  As early as November of 2019 in Wuhan, China there had been many red flags about this new killing disease; doctors had ringed the alarm bell. Unfortunately to all of us, the Chinese government not only kept these warnings secret, but also punished the doctors and suppressed any truthful voice of its people.  In Asian culture, there is a saying that “treating an illness is similar to fight a fire”. Time is the essence. Any delay will cause irreparable harm.

During the most critical period of November and December of 2019, China has repeatedly announced that there was nothing to worry about and that it has everything under controlled while Chinese were dying in the thousands.  And furthermore, the World Health Organization just repeated the official version of the Chinese government.  This lack of transparency from a national government and from an international organization no doubt has contributed terribly to the avoidable suffering of millions of people across our Globe.

Every government has a different set of values.  The more common values we have the better.  We hope that in the near future, at least in the AI World Society, we all share basic universal principles, of which transparency is valued, respected, and commonly practiced.