Just last week, the next generation Chat-GPT was presented. The chatbot seems to be a revolution in artificial intelligence (AI), it passes entrance exams at elite universities and, above all, learns new things at breakneck speed. The German Ethics Council has now also dealt with questions relating to the relationship between man and machine and has spoken out in favor of strict limitations on the use of AI. “The use of AI must expand human development and must not reduce it,” said Alena Buyx, chairwoman of the German Ethics Council. “AI must not replace humans.”
For the medical sector, the Ethics Council also lists reasons in its statement “Humans and Machines – Challenges from Artificial Intelligence” why the use of AI could make sense: With the help of AI, supply bottlenecks due to staff shortages could be alleviated and more precise diagnoses could be made. When developing and using AI products, however, a loss of medical competence must be avoided. The privacy of patients must be reconciled with the intensive use of data in medical research.
For the use of AI by public administration, citizens would have to be protected from discrimination. Machine recommendations should not be followed blindly. Furthermore, individual case considerations as well as the rights of inspection and objection of those affected would have to be guaranteed. “AI applications cannot replace human intelligence, responsibility and evaluation,” said Julian Nida-Rümelin, Deputy Chairman of the German Ethics Council.
According to the study, people should not be reduced to the functions of their brain. It is true that software development will probably increasingly succeed in imitating human abilities and in many cases surpassing them. “But that should not tempt us to attribute personal characteristics to them,” it says.
The German Ethics Council is an independent body in Germany that deals with ethical issues and challenges in the fields of science, medicine and healthcare. The 26 members are appointed by the President of the German Bundestag. The Bundestag or the Federal Government can commission the Ethics Council to advise on specific topics.