Thank you very much, Sophie! I totally agree with you.
A) ethics is NOT a substitute for regulation — it is a complement to regulation because ‘hard law’ can never cover all ‘moral aspects’ of the way we interact (to refer to a general context: questions of decency are typically not covered by law, but indecent behavior is considered unethical nevertheless); at the same time ethics, with its (legally) non-binding character, is never sufficient in itself to ensure justice etc.
B) Also, ethics must never just be delegated to 1 single person, which then epitomizes the ‘corporate conscience’, but the ‘AI ethicist’ is important as a facilitator for ethics, as someone who has been explicitly charged with taking care of ethics and whose duty (and right!) it is to point out ethical dilemmas and raise (uncomfortable) questions.
My next article might be on what I see as the ‘division of labor’ or a ‘value chain’ in the context of #AIethics where I outline the roles of different stakeholders in ensuring ethics. The internal ethicist’s role was just a start.