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Prime Directives for Responsible AI

September 21, 2023
by Srini Koushik, President, Technology and Sustainability, Rackspace Technology

Foundry of AI by Rackspace (FAIR™) operates on three prime directives that are essential to responsible AI development: AI must be symbiotic, secure and sustainable. Symbiotic AI enhances human capabilities safely, secure AI prioritizes data protection and regulatory compliance, while sustainable AI encourages transparent and unbiased systems for a more equitable future. Read on to learn more about the new frontier of responsible AI.

Responsible AI

Since John McCarthy coined the term in 1956, breathtaking leaps in AI have thrust us into an era where science fiction feels less fictitious and more palpable as we stand at the precipice of the AI Era, armed with the transformative power of Generative AI. Echoing the spirit of Prime Directives from Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek (1966) and Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop (1987), we at FAIR have a trinity of prime directives to steward this vast potential responsibly. These prime directives ensure AI evolves in a trustworthy, human-centric, and enduringly beneficial manner while adhering to ethical principles and complying with the laws of the land. These three prime directives are:

  1. AI should be Symbiotic – AI should co-exist and be safe for humans, augment human intelligence, and make us better at our jobs.

  2. AI should be Secure – AI must be secure and robust, maintain confidentiality, be resilient, and prevent unauthorized access and use.

  3. AI should be Sustainable – AI should help humans make better decisions and ensure it benefits the organizations and the communities it serves. 

FAIR Responsible AI Approach with trapezoids
Symbiotic AI is not about replacing humans but enhancing our capabilities. It’s a collaborative interface where in AI systems and humans work together, supplementing each other’s strengths. The potential of Symbiotic AI is vast — from AI assisting doctors in diagnostics to enabling personalized learning in education. This augmentation should ensure that AI solutions are explainable so that users can understand how these solutions make recommendations and act to build trust and ensure human safety and well-being. Meeting this directive is critical to successfully implementing AI in complex, real-world environments. Proper design, robust testing, and continuous monitoring are necessary to ensure AI tools augment human skills without unintended consequences. Symbiotic AI, thus, is the cornerstone of Responsible AI, harmoniously blending AI capabilities with human intellect for safe and beneficial outcomes.
Secure AI is about ensuring the security and privacy of personal and confidential data, being resilient to attacks, and reliably performing its tasks even in unpredictable circumstances. This requires the programmatic implementation of guidelines and guardrails to govern AI, mitigate risk and ensure compliance with the “Laws of the Land”. We do this systematically using encryption, access, authorization, automated system audits, and other principles of least-privileged access and Zero Trust Architectures. Secure AI forms a vital pillar of Responsible AI, helping it withstand digital age challenges while fostering trust and resilience against adversarial attacks.
Sustainable AI stands for creating equitable, transparent, and unbiased AI systems, challenging the norms of biased algorithms and skewed results. Sustainable AI is not merely improving algorithms—it’s about breaking socio-economic barriers and democratizing access to AI benefits for all. The tools to realize this include Constitutional AI for training models, Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback (RLHF) for fine-tuning how they learn and respond, and establishing new processes to govern how AI solutions are built and operated within the enterprise. This includes comprehensible documentation of algorithms, user-friendly interfaces, and building controls to ensure the quality and integrity of the Supply Chain of AI data. By cultivating this sustainable, explainable, and unbiased AI environment, we champion Responsible AI and nurture a more equitable tomorrow. 

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