Main navigation

Applying the AI Ethics Principles

Main content area

The AI Ethics Principles can inform the design, development and implementation of artificial intelligence systems.

An ‘AI system’ is a collection of interrelated technologies used to solve problems autonomously, and perform tasks to achieve defined objectives, without explicit guidance from a human being.

Each phase of the AI system ‘lifecycle’—from design and development to implementation and ongoing maintenance—can benefit from these principles.

When to apply these principles

The principles are entirely voluntary. They are designed to prompt organisations to consider the impact of using AI enabled systems.

Not every principle will be relevant to your use of AI.

Not every business uses AI, and not every use of AI requires comprehensive analysis against the principles. For example, many businesses use systems that may incorporate AI such as email or accounting software. This use is unlikely to be of sufficient impact to require the use of the principles.

If your AI use doesn’t involve or affect human beings, you may not need to consider all of the principles.

Consider these questions

To help decide whether you should apply these ethical principles, consider the following threshold questions. If you answer ‘yes’ then applying the principles could help you plan for better outcomes.

  • Will the AI system you are developing or implementing be used to make decisions or in other ways have a significant impact (positive or negative) on people (including marginalised groups), the environment or society?
  • Are you unsure about how the AI system may impact your organisation or your customers/clients?

Give us feedback

Are you using the AI Ethics Principles in your work? Let us know your feedback by emailing