John C. Havens, Sustainability Practice Lead at IEEE Standards Association

published on 31 March 2022

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John C. Havens, Sustainability Practice Lead at IEEE Standards Association
John C. Havens, Sustainability Practice Lead at IEEE Standards Association

John C. Havens is highly respected in Europe and in the US as a key thought leader on artificial intelligence and ethics. He is the author of Heartificial Intelligence and is the Sustainability Practice Lead at the IEEE Standards Association (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). In this interview on AI To Uplift Humanity Havens explains the need for developing an AI code of ethics, and why everyone should have their own personal terms and conditions.

Citizens are being monitored constantly, even those who believe they are somewhat off the grid. Havens doesn’t necessarily take issue with the monitoring itself, but how it’s being done. He explains people should be fully aware of what is being collected at all times, and have full control over the process. Part of his work at IEEE is addressing this problem head on by creating a system where you can state and manager your own personal terms and conditions. “Your data represents your identity, which essentially are your human rights.” Havens explained.

Personal Terms and Conditions?

Havens and IEEE believe everyone should have their own ability to set their own terms and conditions. “What that means is, when you walk around the world, especially using things like augmented reality and geofencing, you might get a pop up every once in a while that says ‘hey, you're about to go on school grounds and your public school and Waco Texas or whatever.’” Havens said on AI To Uplift Humanity. 

Managed by an app on your smartphone or an IoT device, you’d be alerted with a pop up when your personal terms and conditions were in conflict. “Be aware that here there's going to be video cameras.” Havens said. “In your terms and conditions. you state that you don't want your image captured.” 

Legal Portability of Data

Havens is clear he doesn’t believe tracking is bad, just tracking done without user permission or awareness. He explains AI and collection of data can be extremely helpful and even lifesaving. “It literally can save the lives of you and your loved ones because if you someone, unfortunately, has cancer, instead of carrying around physical paper binders where you're kind of leafing through stuff and trying to figure it out, all the amazing technology that's out there can organize that.” he said. “You should have [that] legally as a human right, at least portability of your data. Portability means I go home and I type in stuff from the facts into a word document and then put it into it.”

John C. Havens resources

  • Check out Havens book here
  • Find Havens on LinkedIn here

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