Sustainable AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Operationalization of the sustainability of AI technologies

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are one of the most discussed developments of recent times. As a technology spanning many different fields of application, AI-based modelling, inferencing, and decision-making will have a major impact across all socio-ecological domains. At the same time, they come with a variety of ethical issues that have led to a mixture of different operationalization and regulation efforts. Since the discussion on sustainability within these efforts is still somewhat neglected, this interdisciplinary working group is dedicated to bringing together the two discourses on AI and sustainability.

The primary goal is to assess different criteria for the operationalization of AI technologies’ sustainability while acknowledging the entanglements of the ecological and social realm that both need to be addressed for this endeavor. In doing so, the Working Group will put a special emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a comprehensive reflection on what needs to be considered when aiming at more sustainable societies.

Therefore, the goal and research focus of the Working Group is twofold:

  • Developping a framework for the operationalization of sustainability in respect to AI technologies that takes the SDGs as primary criteria
  • Overcoming the separation of focus between ecological consequences and wider social impacts

The working group will hold a series of virtual and in-person meetings and workshops, as well as exchanges with stakeholders, over the next two years.

This will result in a policy paper that aims at impacting national and European sustainability and AI policies at the same time. A corresponding scientific paper that goes into more depth will be prepared for publication and a Sustainable AI network will be established for furthering research initiatives on the topic.

Working Group Spokesperson

Dr. Leonie Bossert

Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology — Practical Philosophy — Normative and Applied Ethics — Biology —

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Dr. Wulf Loh

Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW) — Society — Culture — Technological Change — Applied Ethics — Social Philosophy — Political Philosophy — Philosophy of Law —

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Working group members