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Ethical Machines

“AI products are a bit like circus tigers. You raise them like they’re your own, you train them carefully, they perform beautifully in show after show after show, and then one day they bite your head off.”


Ethical Machines

Your Concise Guide to Totally Unbiased, Transparent, and Respectful AI


“Finally! A book that demystifies how to responsibly manage AI and does it in an engaging, succinct, and practical way. This is a must-read for anyone embarking on a machine learning journey. Blackman is a true expert in AI ethics, and this book is an indispensable resource.” 

—Siobhan Hanna, Managing Director, AI Data Solutions, TELUS International Artificial Intelligence


“An excellent read that turns a complex topic into understandable and actionable components. Business leaders need to understand that AI ethics isn’t just hand-waving. It poses real risks to brand and profit. Fortunately, Blackman is outstanding at laying out how you should think about AI ethics and the steps you should take.” 

—Joel Shapiro, Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University


“Reid Blackman’s new book, Ethical Machines, is a fresh contribution to the complex challenge of putting AI ethics into practice. Using vivid examples and accessible storytelling, Blackman introduces an actionable framework for comprehensive ethical risk management that will help companies avoid critical pitfalls as they incorporate AI into their products and processes.” 

—Cara LaPointe, PhD, Codirector,  Johns Hopkins Institute for Assured Autonomy; author, The Blockchain Ethical Design Framework


“Companies of all stripes are increasingly looking to use AI and hoping to build it ethically and responsibly. In this charming book, Reid Blackman provides practical guidance to turn these hopes into a reality.” 

—David Danks, Professor, Data Science & Philosophy, University of California, San Diego


I’m a little sick of the headlines. “Discriminatory algorithms!” “AI powered by privacy violations!” “Dangerous black-box models!”. Let’s do something about it. And I’m not saying let’s burn everything down. I mean you – a senior executive, a product owner, a data scientist – and I need to get to work understanding the problem and solving it so we can stop seeing the headlines.

You and I aren’t here “to make the world a better place.” That’s a great goal, but let’s face it, in a business context, we need a business case for what we’re doing. Our goal isn’t AI for Good. It’s AI for not-Bad. It’s AI ethical (and reputational) risk mitigation. After all, ethical principle #1: first, do no harm.

That’s what this book is about. So we can create AI without ethically screwing up.

I won’t only tell you what to do, though. I’ll teach you how to think about the topic so you’ll see what you need to do. By the time we’re done, I’ll have revealed the landscape of AI ethics to you and you’ll be equipped with the requisite tools for navigating a map you’ll have already internalized.