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Data Ethics: Building Ethical Awareness and Reflective Capacity

There are frequent calls for increasing ethical awareness within institutions that collect, aggregate, analyze and share large amounts of data. However there is little substantive guidance on how to put this into practice. This project, a collaboration with Accenture and the Atlantic Council, addresses how to build AI and data ethics capacity within organizations.


This report discusses the use of oversight committees and review boards help to identify and address issues in data ethics within institutional contexts. The report compares the relative merits of a review board system with other strategies for building ethical capacity, such as a predominantly compliance and training model. The project also details the components of an effective review board or committee based system and what is involved in building one.

This report discusses how to translate general AI and data ethics principles, which have been widely adopted by organizations, into action-guiding commitments. The report focuses on two common ethical commitments in AI and data use: a commitment to justice and a commitment to transparency. The report shows that the first step of fulfilling these commitments is specifying them into more substantive guidance and then operationalizing that guidance into concrete standards and practices.

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