A new RSA report urges coders to sign a 'Hippocratic Oath' before embarking on AI programmes.
AI and robotics developers should sign a pledge to only create ethical technologies, says a new report from the RSA and YouGov.
The document, The Age of Automation, says: "Ethics training should be made a compulsory part of graduate computer science degrees, potentially culminating in a pledge akin to a Hippocratic Oath."
The report warns of AI and automated systems helping to reinforce existing biases in human society.
There is evidence that commentators' fears of a machine-dominated future - Elon Musk and Sir Stephen Hawking being among those warning of an apocalytic future - are both recognised and shared by some providers.
A number of tech companies have now committed to creating new industry standards for the ethical development of AI. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, DeepMind, IBM, and Microsoft are founding partners of www.partnershiponai.org.
The organisation says, "We are at an inflection point in the development and application of AI technologies. The upswing in AI competencies, fuelled by data, computation, and advances in algorithms for machine learning, perception, planning, and natural language, promise great value to people and society.
"However, with successes come new concerns and challenges based on the effects of those technologies on people's lives. These concerns include the safety and trustworthiness of AI technologies, the fairness and transparency of systems, and the intentional as well as inadvertent influences of AI on people and society."
In January, an EU Parliament investigation recommended the development of an advisory code for robotic engineers, and urged legislators to give robots 'personhood' status.
"These efforts should continue, but must not happen behind closed doors", says the RSA report.