AI and Ethics

What Is Artificial Intelligence Allowed to Do?

A Matter of Ethics


Artificial intelligence (AI) is often said to have a transformative power comparable to the industrial revolution. If these forecasts are even close to being accurate, we are in for an enormous transformation. AI will then change the world in a relevant way and also help to relieve the burden on humans in many areas.
Despite the many potential positive effects, it is important to consider the potentially problematic implications of using AI. Under what circumstances may AI be used? Where do boundaries need to be drawn? What use cases might be difficult? And how do you decide?

Since we at Arvato Systems not only use AI as a tool but also develop applications based on AI, there is a logical need to address the ethical aspects of AI.

The Concrete Handling of Ethical Issues in the AI Context at Arvato Systems

At Arvato Systems, we recognize that the use of artificial intelligence can bring numerous benefits and make life easier. At the same time, we are aware that there are also potential risks and ethical implications that must be taken into account. For this reason, we are taking a close look at the framework conditions under which the use of AI is justifiable for us. We have established a comprehensive set of rules, processes and measures to ensure that ethical issues related to the development and use of applied AI are adequately considered:

  1. We have developed AI principles to help make ethical decisions.
  2. We provide AI policies and guidance documents that are accessible to all employees.
  3. We provide training on AI ethics for employees, as it is important to create awareness of individual responsibility in dealing with AI.
  4. We facilitate regular exchange within the Bertelsmann Group and with third parties on the topic of AI ethics.
  5. We have developed a clear process that ensures fundamental consideration of ethical issues in the use of AI.

Our Principles for Dealing With AI

Privacy and data protection

AI requires a significant amount of data to learn and evolve. For some use cases, this can also involve very personal data. That's why ensuring that data is only used and shared for its intended purpose is essential. This is particularly important to us, as it forms the basis for trust.

Compliance with international law and human rights

In any application of AI, we always ensure that it complies with the legal requirements of the country concerned. In addition, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights principles must be considered. We ensure that AI does not develop racist or discriminatory tendencies towards individuals based on their origin, appearance, religion, gender, or sexual or political orientation.

Man must be able to intervene at any time

At Arvato Systems, people are the focus and should always remain in control of the processes. Permanent monitoring and evaluation of AI and processes is essential.


We strive to design the processes of our AI in such a way that they are understandable and assessable for humans. This is of particular importance to recognize wrong decisions on the AI's part and intervene if necessary.


Reliability means that an AI must always remain true to its actual development purpose, even in the long term, and not develop a life of its own - even if it trains and learns with new data. In addition, the AI must be able to reliably deal with unforeseen events (e.g., erroneous data input) and be protected from possible manipulation or human error. 


Arvato Systems offers its AI services exclusively to customers who adhere to similar AI guidelines and identify with the values of human rights and democracy. We attach great importance to the responsible use of AI and only work with customers who share these values.

Your Contact for Corporate Responsibility

Marcus Metzner
Chief Marketing Officer