The Box: Operationalizing AI Ethics Principles


Over the past years, it became a norm for every organization to have its stated responsible AI or AI ethics principles. However, most organization struggle to understand what these principles mean, how to curate their own set of principles, and how these principles can be operationalized. It is common for organizations to misunderstand the scope and function of these principles. Without a structure and adequate operationalization, AI ethics principles bound to remain abstract ideals at best and misleading guidelines at worst.

This session fleshes out the scope and function of AI ethics principles. It introduces the Box—a tool designed by AI Ethics Lab and further developed and deployed by the Institute for Experiential AI at Northeastern University—to put these principles into action as well as presenting a pathway to develop other tools on the main framework of the Box. The session also situates the Box and AI ethics principles into the broader framework of Responsible AI practice for an end-to-end integration of AI ethics into AI innovation.


Cansu joined the Institute of Experiential AI as the ethics lead and a research associate professor. She also has an affiliation with the Department of Philosophy and Religion and the Ethics Institute in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. She has a doctorate in philosophy specializing in applied ethics.

Cansu is the founder of AI Ethics Lab, one of the first initiatives focusing exclusively on advising practitioners and conducting multidisciplinary research on the ethics of artificial intelligence. She remains the director of the AI Ethics Lab, where she leads teams of computer scientists, philosophers, legal scholars, and other experts in research, the development of toolkits, and consulting.

Cansu developed the Puzzle-solving in Ethics (PiE) Model, a dynamic and collaborative model for integrating ethics into the AI innovation cycle that organizations have implemented through consulting work with the AI Ethics Lab. She brings the PiE Model to EAI along with her industry experience and her background in philosophy.

Cansu serves as an ethics expert in various ethics, advisory, and editorial boards. She is a founding editor for the international peer-reviewed journal AI & Ethics (Springer Nature), serves as an ethics expert for EU-funded research projects focusing on the ethics of AI, robotics, human enhancement, and law enforcement AI technologies, and chairs the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) AI Experts Network Criteria Committee.

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