Chiara Foglietta, Councillor for Innovation of the City of Turin, commented on the establishment of the Ethics Commission, which she wanted, concerning the use of emerging technologies in our city: "Emerging technologies are an integral part of our society and represent an engine of development that can offer new benefits to people's lives, but at the same time they force us to think about new issues. Analyses based on big data, algorithms and artificial intelligence and their application to decision-making processes are not without technological risks and social prejudices of gender, race or income that cannot be underestimated".
The group of experts will have the technical, legal and governance knowledge needed to monitor the development and diffusion of emerging technologies, not only in the Turin area but throughout Piedmont. The commission's role will be that of an advisory body with regard to the development and definition of strategies for the ethical use of data, to protect citizens and their privacy, and in particular as a watchdog against automated profiling, surveillance, conditioning, and discrimination against minorities.
The members of the thematic table will serve free of charge. The commission will be led directly by the Department of Innovation and will work in support of other Departments, Civic Services and Directorates that have actions and initiatives on their agendas that are sensitive to the issue of the ethical use of technology. Externally, on the other hand, public involvement and communication actions are planned concerning the link between innovation and citizens' digital rights.
The interventions will specifically concern machine learning and artificial intelligence, algorithmic data aggregation, surveillance, profiling, privacy and digital rights, ensuring the application of regulations and guidelines for the correct use of these practices to mitigate their criticalities.
Some of the activities of the Technical Commission on Ethics and Emerging Technologies will be:
- definition of guidelines, recommendations, measures, studies, scientific publications, existing in Europe on these issues applied to emerging technologies;
- drafting a document summarising governance policies concerning the processing of citizens' data through emerging technologies, in compliance with the guidelines of the European Data Protection Board and the European Data Protection Supervisor;
- drafting and sharing an information and summary document addressed to public officials in charge of tenders concerning emerging technologies;
- organisation of projects, initiatives and urban testing to check the ethical use of new technologies and assess their adherence to defined policies;
- city coordination to measure and monitor the impact of these technologies according to the limits imposed by the guidelines of the European Data Protection Board and the European Data Protection Supervisor;
- dissemination of knowledge and skills concerning all the points already mentioned.