3 min read

The danger of AI is much greater than the danger of nuclear warheads, by a lot”—Elon Musk

SAP, a market leader enterprise software, became the first European technology company to create an AI ethics advisory panel when they made an announcement on Tuesday. They have has announced a set of guiding principles and have developed an external artificial intelligence (AI) ethics advisory panel of five board members.

What are the guidelines?

The guidelines revolve around recognizing AI’s significant impact on people and society. SAP says that they have designed these guidelines to “help the world run better and improve people’s lives”.

The seven guidelines as stated on the SAP website are:


  1. We are driven by our values.
  2. We design for people.
  3. We enable business beyond bias.
  4. We strive for transparency and integrity in all that we do.
  5. We uphold quality and safety standards.
  6. We place data protection and privacy at our core.
  7. We engage with the wider societal challenges of artificial intelligence

Who is in the AI ethics advisory board?

The advisory board panel comprises of experts from various fields like academia, politics and industry. The panel is present for ensuring the adoption of the principles and to develop the principles further collaboratively with the ‘SAP AI steering committee’.

The AI ethics panel consists of members who are theology professors, chairmen, law and policy professors, IT professors, and scholars, researchers. The members are:

  • Dr. theol. Peter Dabrock, Chair of Systematic Theology (Ethics), University of Erlangen-Nuernberg
  • Dr. Henning Kagermann, Chairman, acatechBoard of Trustees; acatech Senator
  • Susan Liautaud, Lecturer in Public Policy and Law, Stanford. Founder and Managing Director, Susan Liautaud & Associates Limited (SLAL)
  • Dr. Helen Nissenbaum, Professor, Cornell Tech Information Science
  • Nicholas Wright, Consultant, Intelligent Biology. Affiliated Scholar with Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics Georgetown University Medical Center. An Honorary Research Associate in Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London

Together with the guidelines, SAP’s internal committee and the formed external panel, SAP aims to ensure that the AI capabilities in SAP Leonardo Machine Learning are used to maintain ‘integrity and trust’ in all its solutions.

Implementation of AI ethics

SAP thinks that the guiding principles also contribute to the AI debate in Europe.

Markus Noga, senior vice president, Machine Learning, SAP, is appointed to the high level AI expert group by the European Commission. This European AI expert group was created to design an AI strategy and purpose with ethical guidelines relating to fairness, safety, transparency, by early 2019.

Luka Mucic, Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP Se. stated “SAP considers the ethical use of data a core value. We want to create software that enables the intelligent enterprise and actually improves people’s lives. Such principles will serve as the basis to make AI a technology that augments human talent.

For more information visit the SAP website and read their guiding principles for artificial intelligence.

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