Goethe University Frankfurt

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

“Who will decide what is the impact of AI on Society?”


Awareness allows us to live a life, not react to it…

Awareness happens, but needs to be continuously nurtured.

If I am aware, am I also conscious?

Awareness is considered a prerequisite for consciousness. You can’t be conscious about something if you’re unaware of it.

Consciousness is a choice we can make (or not). 

The individual and collective conscience is the existential place where the most significant things happen.

So, what has this to do with the current discussion on Ethics of Artificial Intelligence?

AI is becoming a sophisticated tool in the hands of a variety of stakeholders, including political leaders.

Some AI applications may raise new ethical and legal questions, and in general have a significant impact on society (for the good or for the bad or for both).

We are having an interesting discussion on this topic.

You can read the feedback here: http://www.odbms.org/blog/2018/10/big-data-and-ai-ethical-and-societal-implications/#comments

Policy makers are actively working out legal frame for Ethical, Trustful, Transparent AI. See for example: http://www.odbms.org/blog/2018/10/on-the-future-of-ai-in-europe-interview-with-roberto-viola/

On European data protection — interview with Giovanni Buttarelli, Digital Initiative, Harvard Business School, June 5, 2019


As Norbert Walter wrote (*) : “Ethics is dependent on the homogeneity of society and functioning sanctions against the non-compliance of the rules”.

People motivation plays a key role here. With AI the important question is how to avoid that it goes out of control, and how to understand how decisions are made and what are the consequences for society at large.





















Roberto V. Zicari

Frankfurt, January 31, 2019



Z-inspection: Towards a process to assess Ethical AI 

We at the Frankfurt Big Data Lab at the Goethe University of Frankfurt are working on the definition of an assessment process for Ethical AI, that we call Z-inspection.

We decided to go for an open development and incremental improvement to establish our process and brand (“Z Inspected”).

More info: http://www.bigdata.uni-frankfurt.de/z-inspection-process-assess-ethical-ai/



Frankfurt Summer School 2020 on Ethical Implications of AI

We are very happy to inform you that we offering a Summer School course on the Ethical Implications of AI at the Goethe University Frankfurt.

Dates: 17 – 28 August, 2020 Overview and Course Description: https://lnkd.in/g2frWef

We encourage students (Bachelor, Master, PhD) with different backgrounds, knowledge, geographies to enroll in this course. The topic is highly interdisciplinary and therefore requires different points of views, expertise, and attitudes.

Application process will be open from 01 January 2020: https://lnkd.in/g-DinQR


      • Zicari, R. V.. (2020). KI, Ethik, Vertrauen, Risiken, AuditPosition paper presented at the Enquete-Kommission „Künstliche Intelligenz – Gesellschaftliche Verantwortung und wirtschaftliche, soziale und ökologische Potenziale“ of the German Bundestag, on February 10, 2020, Berlin.
      • Zicari, R. V.. (2018). Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: Ethical and Societal Implications. In Wolff, B. (Ed.), In Whither artificial intelligence? Debating the policy challenges of the upcoming transformation (pp. 68). Mercator Science-Policy Fellowship-Programme.
      • Helbing, D., Frey, B. S., Gigerenzer, G., Hafen, E., Hagner, M., Hofstetter, Y., van den Hoven, J., Zicari, R. V., & Zwitter, A.. (2017). Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?Scientific American (February 25, 2017).
      • Helbing, D., Frey, B. S., Gigerenzer, G., Hafen, E., Hagner, M., Hofstetter, Y., van den Hoven, J., Zicari, R. V., & Zwitter, A.. (2015). Digitale Demokratie statt Datendiktatur: Big Data, Nudging, Verhaltenssteuerung. Spektrum der Wissenschaft, 15(12).
      • Zwitter, A., & Zicari, R. V.. (2015). Big Data zum Nutzen von Gesellschaft und Menschheit. Spektrum der Wissenschaft, 15(12).
      • Helbing, D., Frey, B. S., Gigerenzer, G., Hafen, E., Hofstetter, Y., van den Hoven, J., Zicari, R. V., Zwitter, A., & Hagner, M.. (2015). Eine Strategie für das digitale Zeitalter. Spektrum der Wissenschaft, 15(12).



      • Prof. Zicari gave an impulse talk at the high-profile German Parliamentary AI examination committee.

Die Mitglieder der  Enquete-Kommission „Künstliche Intelligenz – Gesellschaftliche Verantwortung und wirtschaftliche, soziale und ökologische Potenziale“ haben sich am  Montag, 10. Februar 2020, in ihrer Sitzung mit Feinheiten einer möglichen  Regulierung algorithmischer Entscheidungssysteme (ADM-Systeme) befasst. Fünf Sachverständige trugen dazu in öffentlicher Sitzung unter Leitung von Kommissionsmitglied  Ronja Kemmer (CDU/CSU) vor.

Professor Roberto V. Zicari (Initiative Z-inspection) betonte in seinem Vortag die Bedeutung von Vertrauen im Einsatz von Systemen der Künstlichen Intelligenz. Zicari verwies wiederholt auf Empfehlungen der Datenethik-Kommission. Er empfahl unter anderem, dass der Staat keine proprietären KI-Systeme einsetzen sollte, die mit Berufung auf Geschäftsgeheimnisse Transparenz verhinderten.

Das Video der Anhörung ist jetzt in der Mediathek des Bundestags abrufbar: https://www.bundestag.de/dokumente/textarchiv/2020/kw07-pa-enquete-ki-681576 “




(*) Source: Marktwirtschaft und Moral: Wie Werte das Vertrauen in die Ökonomie stärken Norbert Walter,  – 24. September 2009

(C) Big Data Laboratory. Design By Tea Sets