Telenor and Negotia present Norway’s first declaration for responsible use of AI

Via Telenor Media Center

Jul 2, 2019

(Fornebu, 2 July, 2019) Norway’s Minister for Digitalisation, Nikolai Astrup, will today be presented with a declaration for the responsible use of artificial intelligence in working life by central actors in Norwegian business, spearheaded by Telenor Group and Negotia. It is the first time such a joint declaration has been developed in Norway and it could serve as an important foundation for the Government’s development of a national strategy for artificial intelligence.

In May of this year, Telenor Group and Negotia, the trade union for private sector employees, held a roundtable conference on the subject of digital ethics and artificial intelligence.

Present at the meeting were Minister for Digitalisation Nikolai Astrup, business and union leadership from major Norwegian companies including Equinor, EVRY, IBM Norway, DNB, Schibsted Media Group, DNV GL, as well as representatives from the Norwegian parliament, and the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation. Representatives also participated from the Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS), the enterprise federation Virke, employers’ organisation Abelia, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), and the EU Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence. Subsequent to the gathering, the parties have jointly developed a set of guidelines for the responsible use of artificial intelligence.

“We’re very proud of the declaration, particularly as both employers and employees from large technology companies are supporting it in unison. The best solutions are those employees and their employers create together,” commented Monica A. Paulsen, President of Negotia.

Fair, non-discriminatory and transparent

“We’re pleased to see that the debate around AI and ethics is widening to include industry, authorities, employees, employers and unions, as well as the research community. This is especially important in the context of the current technological shift we are facing, where 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) constitute two other central elements. We hope this declaration provides a good basis for future debate and work connected to AI,” said Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group.

Digitalisation minister Nikolai Astrup and Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke at Fornebu

The declaration places particular emphasis on the need for AI-supported decisions and recommendations to be fair, non-discriminatory and transparent. It also states that clear lines of responsibility and concern for employee data protection should be ensured throughout the entire development process.

An increasing amount of decision-making and organisational processes will be supported by systems informed by AI. Clearly stated in the declaration is that this development must happen in a responsible way, and take appropriate consideration of individuals, businesses and society.

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