NXP unveils AI Ethics Initiative

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NXP Semiconductors has launched its AI Ethics initiative, underscoring its commitment to the ethical development of AI components and systems where people work and live, known as the "edge" of computer networks.

In a new whitepaper entitled The Morals of Algorithms, the company has detailed its comprehensive framework for AI principles: non-maleficence, human autonomy, explicability, continued attention and vigilance, and privacy and security by design. The AI framework has evolved as a result of a cross-company collaboration, including inputs and insights across engineering and customer-facing teams around the world.

NXP is a leader in the AI revolution with a portfolio of microcontrollers (MCUs) and processors that have been optimised for machine learning applications “at the edge” of networks, including thermostats, security systems, car sensors, robots and industrial automation and other devices, thereby making them not only intelligent but faster, more flexible, and more secure.

Recently the company released the Glow compiler for optimising neural networks on low-power MCUs. This year, the company also announced integrated machine learning acceleration to its i.MX 8M Plus processor family and released its NXP eIQ Auto Toolkit for automotive applications.

"In addition to our strong innovation-minded spirit, ethics are core to who we are as NXP," said Kurt Sievers, NXP President and Chief Executive Officer. "As innovators in AI, we are committed to applying ethical principles. Consumers depend on AI for more responsibilities and decision making in their lives, especially at the edge where people want their devices to operate transparently, fairly and safely, while giving them control over their privacy. And security is key - we believe that building trust in AI starts with protecting devices.”

NXP plans to develop employee programs to help them implement the five AI principles, which will be aided and supported by the company's continued engagement with leading academic institutions, research organizations and pioneer technology firms. It is also a partner in the Charter of Trust, a cross-industry initiative founded in 2018 to make the digital world of tomorrow safer.

"Ultimately, ethics come down to people, and this framework will be core to NXP because our customers rely on us to provide them with the life-impacting solutions that power the AI transformation,” Sievers said.