CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Orange Creates A Data And Artificial Intelligence Ethics Council

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By Francois Giudice, Correspondent France

Orange  has announced the creation of a Data and AI Ethics Council made up of 11 independent recognized experts.

Chaired by Orange’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Stéphane Richard the role of this advisory and independent body is to support the company’s implementation of ethical principles governing the use of data and Artificial Intelligence technologies.

In particular, the Council will draw up ethics guidelines for the responsible use of data and AI at Orange, and monitor its implementation within the Group’s entities. It may be called upon by people outside the company, customer representatives or Orange employees to study concrete scenarios involving the ethical use of data and AI, and will put forward recommendations that will be submitted to Orange’s Executive Committee for approval. It will also issue prospective opinions on the use of data and AI technologies within the Group.

The Council will be involved in a large variety of topics, for example, to ensure that AI-based systems developed by the Group have incorporated the principles of non-discrimination and equality in their design, or that they do not run the risk of invading privacy when they analyze network data to detect the causes of a failure in the video over fiber service.

Orange’s Data and AI Ethics Council is made up of 11 members, selected for their independence and neutrality, their expertise on these topics and the diversity of their backgrounds: ethics specialists, lawyers, philosophers, researchers and professionals from public bodies, academic circles and the public and private economic sectors:

  • Professor of AI, Robotics and Ethics at the Sorbonne University, France, Raja Chatila
  • University Professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, France, Cécile Dejoux
  • Researcher and Computer Science Mediator at the École Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne, Switzerland, Lê Nguyên Hoang
  • Professor of Moral and Political Philosophy at Louvain University, Belgium, Mark Hunyadi
  • Laboratory Director at the CEA (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), France, Etienne Klein
  • Lecturer at the Paris 8 University, France, Jean-Noël Lafargue
  • Teacher and Researcher at the Cote d’Azur University, France, Caroline Lequesne-Roth
  • Lecturer in Law at the Télécom Paris engineering school, France, Claire Levallois Barth
  • Director of Legal Studies at the Télécom Paris engineering school, France, Winston Maxwell
  •  International expert in responsible AI and open data, Sasha Rubel
  • Consultant in AI; ex-university professor and start-up manager Françoise Soulie-Fogelman.

The creation of the Data and AI Ethics Council is another illustration of Orange’s desire to strengthen its bond of trust with its customers, employees and stakeholders, in connection with its official “purpose”.

The Group has been working on the topic of ethical and responsible AI for several years: it is conducting a research programme to contribute to the responsible development, use and governance of human-focused AI systems. In 2020 it obtained the GEEIS-AI label (Gender Equality Diversity European & International Standard – AI) rewarding its initiatives to promote diversity and avoid the risks of discrimination in AI-based systems.

 Orange also helped produce recommendations for “Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI” within the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group and supports Impact AI, the benchmark Think & Do Tank for ethical artificial intelligence in France.

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