Recognizing Ageism in the Development of AI

Max Richter • 28 May 2019
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Initial steps to minimise the exclusion of seniors in the development and implementation of Artificial Intelligence.

There is an ever-growing digital divide between different generations of our society resulting in the exclusion of older citizens. This digital divide is characterised by a knowledge gap between those familiar with the tools and skills connected to the Internet and those surpassed by the technological developments of the past few years. Being on the unknowing side of this divide can result in a lack of access to the internet and through this all the aspects of life that are increasingly connected to it. Artificial intelligence has a high potential of exacerbating this trend. This means that efforts must be made now to bridge this knowledge gap, allowing the senior citizens of our societies to age with dignity and be included in the shaping of our future. Here are three steps to be taken to reach this goal:

1) When evaluating the ethics of Artificial Intelligence, our basic human rights must include a focus on ageism. This must also be included in any future rubrics and guidelines written for the development and implementation of AI.

 

2) A global convention enabling a discourse between the affected parties and the industry would identify actual needs and desires of the excluded groups, giving developers of AI clearer insights on practical measures to be taken against the exclusion of certain age groups.

 

3) A large part of the older generations unfamiliar with Artificial Intelligence also do not want to engage with this new technology due to a lack of trust in these developments. In order to enable informed decisions on their part, communicative efforts must be made to explain various aspects of AI in media formats that older age groups respond to.