Towards a more comprehensive AI ethics: adding the Global South perspective

Artificial intelligence (AI) ethics can help technologists and policy-makers to mitigate potential negative impacts of the technology. But presently this discourse is one-sided, driven by the Global North and the concerns discussed there. This UN Unite Research policy brief by Dr. Scott Timcke, Senior Research Associate at RIA, and Theresa Sch├╝ltken, a student of international relations at the University of Potsdam, aims to enrich the discussions around AI ethics by merging the conceptions of the Global South with the existing discourse for a broader perspective on AI ethics.

In the Global North discussions around AI focus on areas of privacy, data-bias and their harmful outcomes, as well as the opacity in AI systems.

For the Global South however, AI ethics is situated within existing power structures. From this point of view, it is necessary to assess how AI will impact existing power structures over the long term, recognising that if left unchecked, operating in a status quo of inter- and intra-national inequality, AI is likely to widen these divides.

This brief asks policy-makers to consider what conditions are required to harness and channel democratic will in science, technology, and innovation policy to build an extended AI ethics that positively impacts societies and actively reduces inequalities.