Panasonic Group, one of many corporations operating in this changing world,
has a primary purpose: to be a customer-friendly corporation and a business that always makes customers wellbeing.
The Panasonic Group has a grand vision of its AI technologies making customers wellbeing
and contributing to sustainable social development.
To make this vision a reality, the Group has formulated AI Ethics Principles
to serve as an ethical guideline for the use and application of AI technologies.
We hereby make these principles open to the public.
Panasonic Holdings Corporation announced the establishment of its Panasonic Group AI Ethics Principles which must be observed during the development, implementation, and utilization of AI.
The Group aims to realize customers' well-being and social sustainability utilizing AI. In order to provide innovative products and services as solutions in various business fields, including consumer electronics, housing, automobiles, and B2B solutions, the Group has been focusing considerable efforts on the studying, development, and implementation of AI.
In recent years, ethical issues relating to AI have become social issues due to the inappropriate use of AI, which has caused the promotion of discrimination, infringement of privacy, safety concerns, and more. To deal with these problems, the Organization for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) has adopted international policy guidelines. In Japan, the Cabinet Office has issued Social Principles for Human-Centric AI, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has issued Governance Guidelines for the Implementation of AI Principles.
In light of these social trends, the Panasonic Group has established AI Ethical Principles that must be observed throughout the entire Group to facilitate the responsible use of AI in order to offer customers reliable AI products and services.
To implement these AI Ethics Principles throughout the Panasonic Group, an AI Ethics Committee has established to conduct AI ethics risk checks at development sites and promote AI ethics training for all Group employees.
The Panasonic Group's main goal is to realize an ideal society with affluence both in mind and matter. Incorporating AI into the Group's major businesses—such as consumer electronics, housing, automobiles, and B2B solutions—allows us to offer customers innovative products and services as solutions to their life issues. This is what we are doing in our daily operations in order to create a better way of life and society. AI, when properly applied, can greatly benefit individuals, society, and the environment. Nevertheless, improper application of AI could have grave consequences and disadvantages. To be a customer-friendly corporation and a business that always puts our customers' well-being first, we have established the following AI Ethics Principles.
1. Creating a better life and society
With an awareness of the effects that AI products and services have on our customers, society, and the environment, we deliver AI products and services to customers only when convinced that they stand to offer them a better life while also improving society and the environment. Even after delivering our AI products and services, we will continue to evaluate the way that they affect our customers' lives, society, and the environment, and put to good use what we discover in our products and services.
2. Design, development, and verification for safety
Our top priority is to provide safe AI products and services. To ensure this, we are developing new technologies and building a store of technical knowledge, which we actively employ in our designs. Even after providing customers with our products and services, we take the necessary actions to ensure their safety.
3. Respecting human rights and fairness
When providing our AI products and services, we respect people's diversity and exercise caution to make sure that no unfairness or discrimination arises from their use. To ensure reliable implementation, we provide all of our Group employees with the necessary training and education.
4. Transparency and accountability
Keeping our customers and clients fully informed about our AI operations is important to us. Our AI development and design processes are carried out based on this principle of transparency. We also respond to all customer inquiries about the effects that AI products and services might have, and are ready to provide the information that customers need.
5. Protecting customers' privacy
We respect customers' privacy by managing customers' information properly and safely in accordance with related laws and Panasonic's internal regulations.
The AI Ethics Principles described herein will be revised in the future to keep pace with the development of AI and social changes.
First version issued on August 29, 2022
Related article : Panasonic Newsoom Global Press Release
Panasonic Group Releases Ethics Principles for AI (August 29, 2022)
Panasonic Group AI Ethics Committee
The Panasonic Group AI Ethics Committee has been set up as the organization responsible for supervising/supporting Operating Companies and making sure that they develop and run AI products (AI equipment and services) and use AI technologies in compliance with the AI Ethics Principles. Discussions on establishing the Committee started in 2019, and it was inaugurated in April 2022, the month in which Panasonic Corporation was reborn as Panasonic Holdings Corporation.
The Panasonic Group AI Ethics Committee (hereinafter “AI Ethics Committee”) has been set up as an organization within Panasonic Holdings Corporation, and is made up of personnel in charge of AI ethics and staff who have expertise in Legal Affairs, Intellectual Property, Quality Control, etc. brought in from each Operating Company.
- - Set, implement, and promote AI Ethics Principles.
- - Promote assessment of risks related to AI ethics, and provide support tools and systems for assessments.
- - Carry out training of Group employees in AI ethics.
Examining risks related to AI ethics at AI development sites
The Panasonic Group has a wide range of business fields in which AI technologies are utilized. To make efficient assessments of the risks related to AI ethics that arise in these business fields, risk checks are made by staff at AI product development sites and by the AI Ethics Committee at various stages of the process. These shared responsibilities and roles accelerate innovative AI-utilized business operations.。
The AI Ethics Committee has developed an AI ethics check system for efficiently checking risks related to AI ethics and provides AI development sites with the system. Currently, our AI ethics check system is under trial as a pilot project within the Group. It is scheduled to be progressively introduced to every AI development project from FY2022.
AI ethics education for all Group employees
All Group employees are receiving education in AI ethics. Ordinary employees are given basic education every year, while employees working at AI development sites or engaging in AI ethics programs are given technical education when needed. AI ethics seminars are also held regularly, at which invited lecturers discuss AI ethics issues.