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NXP commits to AI ethics with its initiative ‘The Morals of Algorithms’


NXP Semiconductors launched its AI Ethics initiative, underscoring the company’s commitment to the ethical development of AI components and systems where people work and live, known as the “edge” of computer networks. With secure, power-efficient edge computing and AI, everyday devices not only sense their environments, but also interpret, analyse and act in real time on the data collected.

Published in a new whitepaper called “The Morals of Algorithms”, the company details its comprehensive framework for AI principles: non-maleficence, human autonomy, explicability, continued attention and vigilance, and privacy and security by design. These principles are rooted in NXP’s corporate values, ethical guidelines, and a long tradition of building some of the world’s most sophisticated secure devices. The AI framework evolved as a result of a cross-company collaboration, including inputs and insights across engineering and customer-facing teams around the world.

“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,” said Kurt Sievers, NXP President and Chief Executive Officer.

“By building these ethical principles into the devices that sense, interpret, and analyse data at the edge, we can enable AI that acts ethically,” he added.

NXP is a vanguard in the AI revolution with a portfolio of microcontrollers (MCUs) and processors optimized 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 was the first to release 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.

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 organisations 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.

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