Ethical AI

NASA Science Mission Directorate’s research efforts all fit into the larger community which includes researchers at other Government agencies, universities, private companies and foreign research institutions. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in scientific research is rapidly growing throughout these communities, not just within NASA’s programs. The ethical use of AI in conducting scientific research is becoming a more visible and important consideration. NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has a number of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) Initiatives that are expected to be widely adopted; in return, much of the development work elsewhere in the community is being adopted by NASA. SMD’s AI workshop conducted in May, 2021, emphasized a need to develop principles and best practices for ethical use of AI in conducting scientific research. These principles and practices need to be adopted broadly in the community for them to be effective. In order to achieve this broad adoption, NASA is partnering with the American Geophysical Union (AGU) to engage an interdisciplinary group of domain science and artificial intelligence (AI) stakeholders and practitioners to develop a community-derived set of principles and responsibilities.. The results will be shared broadly through professional societies and public meetings for further dissemination and discussion. The goal is for these principles to be endorsed and adopted by organizations and institutions within the Earth, space, and environmental science community, and used to update or inform general Scientific Code of Conduct policies consistently across the community.

AGU plans to conduct a survey and to convene a series of virtual workshops that includes representative samples of domain science and AI stakeholders to gather inputs and to develop a set of community-based principles, practices, and responsibilities. The results will be briefed at several professional society meetings for further discussion.

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