LiU Researcher Stresses the Importance of Trust in AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) in daily life is progressing, and several scientists feel that what one has witnessed up to now is just the beginning. However, AI has to be trustworthy in all circumstances.

Fredrik Heintz, professor of artificial intelligence at LiU, and coordinator of the TAILOR project. Image Credit: Anna Nilsen.

Linköping University (LiU) is coordinating TAILOR, an EU project that has prepared a research-based roadmap meant to direct research funding organizations and decision-makers toward reliable AI of the future.

The development of artificial intelligence is in its infancy. When we look back at what we are doing today in 50 years, we will find it pretty primitive. In other words, most of the field remains to be discovered. That’s why it’s important to lay the foundation of trustworthy AI now.

Fredrik Heintz, TAILOR Project Coordinator and Professor, Artificial Intelligence, Linköping University

TAILOR is one of six research systems put together by the EU to reinforce research capacity and engineer futuristic AI.

The basis of trustworthy AI is being built by TAILOR, by preparing a framework, guidelines, and a specification of the requirements of the AI researchers at large. The abbreviation “TAILOR” refers to the foundations of Trustworthy AI—integrating, learning, optimization, and reasoning.

Three Criteria

The roadmap currently delivered by TAILOR is the primary step toward standardization, where the notion is that decision-makers and research-sponsoring organizations can gain an understanding of what is essential to form trustworthy AI. Fredrik Heintz believes that it is a prudent idea to illustrate that several research issues have to be solved before this can be realized.

The scientists prepared three criteria for trustworthy AI: it has to follow laws and regulations, fulfill numerous ethical principles, and its execution has to be safe and robust. Fredrik Heintz emphasizes that these criteria pose huge challenges, particularly the execution of ethical principles.

Take Justice, for example. Does this mean an equal distribution of resources or that all actors receive the resources needed to bring them all to the same level? We are facing major long-term questions, and it will take time before they are answered. Remember—the definition of justice has been debated by philosophers and scholars for hundreds of years.

Fredrik Heintz, TAILOR Project Coordinator and Professor, Artificial Intelligence, Linköping University


The project will concentrate on large, all-inclusive research questions and try to discover standards that all who create AI can embrace. But Fredrik Heintz is sure that we can only realize this if regular research into AI is given importance.

People often regard AI as a technology issue, but what's really important is whether we gain societal benefit from it. If we are to obtain AI that can be trusted and that functions well in society, we must make sure that it is centered on people,” explains Fredrik Heintz.

A number of the legal proposals within the EU and its member states are prepared by legal experts. However, Fredrik Heintz believes that there is a dearth of expert knowledge within AI, which is an issue.

Legislation and standards must be based on knowledge. This is where we researchers can contribute, providing information about the current forefront of research, and making well-grounded decisions possible. It’s important that experts have the opportunity to influence questions of this type.

Fredrik Heintz, TAILOR Project Coordinator and Professor, Artificial Intelligence, Linköping University

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