Munich RE is a global reinsurance company with over 40,000 employees and an intensive focus on AI applications for its operations. To make sure those thousands of employees make the “right” decisions on complex questions, Munich RE formulated common AI principles as a guide.

Why would Munich RE spend so much time and effort on ethical standards for AI? Munich RE CDO Wolfgang Hauner wrote:

Because we are convinced that it is required for our operational capability in the AI business model; because careful scrutiny of algorithms ensures that AI processes remain transparent and comprehensible, which in turn contributes to our domain expertise and improving our products; because this allows us to increase the advantages of AI and minimize its risks. And, last but not least: because Munich Re wants to be a fair and knowledgeable partner for our clients, staff and all other stakeholders.

Hauner outlined Munich RE’s ethical AI standards in this article for LinkedIn:

Any application of AI shall be ethically justifiable and socially desirable. Therefore we at Munich Re adhere to the following 4 guiding principles:

  • Munich Re seeks to enable a human-centric AI. Our AI-approach should promote well-being, preserve dignity and sustain the planet (Beneficence). We aim on privacy, security and caution (Non-Maleficence). Individuals hold the power of decision (Individual Autonomy), use of AI should promote prosperity and preserve solidarity (Justice)
  • We seek to prevent of systematic differences in treatment of groups and individuals and aim for unbiased and as complete data as possible (Non-Discrimination)
  • Monitoring the impact of algorithm decisions should avoid creating or reinforcing unwanted causalities. (No Unacceptable Causality)
  • Consumers should always have full control over their data including the choice of whether or not to provide it. (Data Governance for AI)

The human-centric approach is the common foundation underlying any ethical application of AI. Moving forward, discussion and development of concrete rules or laws will continue on that basis.