SenseTime, a leading global artificial intelligence (AI) software company, today released the “AI Sustainable Development Report 2021-2022: AI Ethics for Balanced Development” and its “Best Practice Cases”. Launched in conjunction with SFF (Singapore FinTech Festival) x SWITCH in Singapore, the two assets reinforce SenseTime’s positive progress towards its long-term goal of contributing towards the sustainable and ethical development of AI.
The “AI Ethics for Balanced Development” report follows SenseTime’s “Code of Ethics for AI Sustainable Development” whitepaper, which was published in June 2020, to further crystalize SenseTime’s three core ethical principles of responsible AI: sustainability, human-centric approach, and controllable technology. In addition to this, the “Best Practice Cases” is the first set of case studies in the market to document positive developments in the ever-evolving AI industry.
Releasing the “AI Ethics for Balanced Development” report and “Best Practice Cases” at the SFF x SWITCH event, Mr. Tian Feng, Dean of Intelligent Industry Research Institute, SenseTime, said, “As AI technology immerses into our everyday lives, people may be exposed to the emergence of new risks. The launch of these two reports demonstrates our commitment to educate both the industry and the public at large, on how the technology can be harnessed ethically. We will continue developing AI technology that advances economies, society and humanity, tackle global challenges as well as The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.”
SFF x SWITCH is week-long festival for the global innovation community, featuring exciting innovation and technology activities. During the conference, SWITCH and Artificial Intelligence International Institute (AIII) co-hosted the “China Singapore Technovation Ecosystem Summit”, bringing together key players for more sharing and dialogue to foster more sustainable development and collaboration, where SenseTime unveiled its “AI Ethics for Balanced Development” report and “Best Practice Cases”.
Three fundamental principles to make AI fair, safe, controllable
With the rapid development of the technology, AI companies have a responsibility to work with different sectors of the community to monitor, govern and improve potential ethical risks. Over the past few years, SenseTime has been committed to promoting the progress of AI governance. Its whitepaper “Code of Ethics for Sustainable AI Development”, which laid down the foundation for its AI ethics discourse, was selected by the United Nations as one of the key publication references in its “United Nations Resource Guide on AI Strategies”.
To align with the development of the technology since its first whitepaper, SenseTime has refined its three core ethical principles for responsible AI in the latest “AI Ethics for Balanced Development” report, which calls on institutions, enterprises and individuals to respect and recognise the balance between innovation and ethics:
AI can play an important role augmenting global efforts to address climate change and other sustainability challenges. The United Nations has introduced the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a global framework to achieve sustainable development in three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – by 2030. As technology continues to evolve, people have realized that AI can play a pivotal role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and benefit society.
SenseTime’s AI technology is widely adopted by infrastructure companies to promote energy efficiency and clean energy. For example, China Southern Power Grid, one of two major power grids in the country, harnesses SenseTime’s SenseMARS solution to review its load forecasting. The application of AI in power grids empowers its operators to better optimise temperature and energy efficiency. This is one example of how AI can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, by supporting affordable, reliable and sustainable energy supply.
- Human-Centric Approach:
The purpose of AI is to augment humans and create new value. A broad range of factors such as human rights, privacy protection, inclusiveness and openness must be considered before applying the technology. SenseTime believes that the benefits brought by AI technology must be shared with everyone and must not be limited to select communities or groups. It strives to promote the practice of this approach in various fields to fulfil its social responsibility as a leader in the AI industry, vision and mission.
In July 2021, SenseTime established a mixed reality (MR) virtual experience center at BilibiliWorld 2021. With the rise of the “metaverse” concept, SenseTime is well-placed to realise its potential through its proprietary AI+MR technology. By creating an extensive and diversified holographic digital world, SenseTime is set to open infinite opportunities for innovation in offline animation exhibitions and interactive entertainment.
- Controllable Technology:
Safeguarding data and promoting trusted use has become a common goal for all technology companies. Key attributes such as verifiability, certification, creditability and responsibility must be in place to ensure adequate levels of safety to build trust; relevant regulation must be founded upon controllable technology to uphold AI ethics.
SenseTime has been actively promoting the importance of protecting privacy in the use of AI technology. In 2020, SenseTime published a research paper with the Center for Computational Biomedicine Imaging and Modelling in the Computer Science Department at Rutgers University–New Brunswick at the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), in which the structure of a distributed generative adversarial network (GAN) was adopted to achieve federated learning. By using a distributed asynchronized discriminator GAN with a GAN formed by a central generator, this research allows a central generator to function under which no private data are provided. This set of research methods inherited the strengths of federated learning and effectively solved the problem of privacy protection in medical data.
Robust internal initiatives to reinforce AI ethics efforts
In adherence with the three core ethical principles of responsible AI, SenseTime has implemented a number of initiatives in aspects of its operations. In January 2020, it established the Committee of AI Ethics and Governance, which comprises six members, including two external advisors, who are academic experts in the field of AI ethics, and four senior management members. As the company’s primary organization at the ethical level, the AI Ethics Committee is mainly responsible for AI ethics-related responsibilities, including principle formulation, concept publicity, and promoting the implementation of AI ethics measures, and determining SenseTime’s goals, policies, work guidance and implementation measures concerning AI ethics.
SenseTime also collaborates with third-party institutions and think tanks from around the world to keep abreast of the latest developments in the AI industry, and to maintain neutrality and objectivity in the implementation of its AI ethics practice.
Sustainability is a never-ending goal, and it will always be a fundamental strategy for SenseTime as it expands and diversifies its technology offerings. Together with partners, SenseTime will continue to work to promote fair, responsible, and legally complaint applications of AI technology.