AIM Series Seminar | Z-Inspection: a holistic and analytic process to assess Ethical AI



Roberto ZICARI – Goethe University Frankfurt

We at the Frankfurt Big Data Lab at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, together with a team of international experts, developed an assessment process for Ethical AI, that we call Z-Inspection.

Z-Inspection is a general inspection process for Ethical AI , which can be applied to a variety of domains such as business, healthcare, public sector, etc.It uses applied ethics. To the best of our knowledge, Z-Inspection is the first process that combines a holistic and analytic approach to assess Ethical AI in practice.

The core idea of our assessment is to create an orchestration process to help teams of skilled experts to assess the ethical, technical and legal implications of the use of an AI-product/services within a given context.

We did assess, as a test to our assessment process, a AI-based product in healthcare (cardiology).  This fits into the category of AI-(ML-based) algorithms for predicting risk of a disease (in this case, risk of heart attack), with all the ethical consequences.

The goal for creating Z-Inspection was to help contribute to closing the gap between “principles” (the “what” of AI ethics), and “practices” (the “how”), and hopefully help to foster ethical values and ethical actions.

© 2020 by Roberto V. Zicari and his colleagues.

Z-inspection is a registered trade mark.

The work is distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA) license (

Team Members:

Roberto V. Zicari (1), Irmhild van Halem (1), Matthew Eric Bassett (1), Gemma Roig (1), Pedro Kringen (1), Karsten Tolle (1), Todor Ivanov (1), Timo Eichhorn (1), Naveed Mushtaq (1), Melissa McCullough (1), Jesmin Jahan Tithi (2), Romeo Kienzler (4), Georgios Kararigas (3), Marijana Tadic (5), John Brodersen (6), Magnus Westerlund (7), Boris Düdder (8), Florian Möslein (9), Norman Stürtz (1), James Brusseau (10).

  1. Frankfurt Big Data Lab, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
  2. Intel Labs, Santa Clara, CA, USA
  3. German Centre for Cardiovascular Research, Charité University Hospital, Berlin, Germany
  4. IBM Center for Open Source Data and AI Technologies, San Francisco, CA, USA
  5. Cardiology Department, Charité University Hospital, Berlin, Germany
  6. Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Danemark
  7. Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland
  8. Department of Computer Science (DIKU), University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark.
  9. Institute of the Law and Regulation of Digitalization , Philipps-University Marburg, Germany
  10. Philosophy Department, Pace University, New York, USA

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Roberto ZICARI – Founder Frankfurt Big Data Lab – Goethe University Frankfurt

Roberto V. Zicari is professor of Database and Information Systems (DBIS) at the Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of Databases and Big Data. His interests also expand to Ethics and AI, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He is the founder of the Frankfurt Big Data Lab at the Goethe University Frankfurt, and the editor of the web portal and of the ODBMS Industry Watch Blog.

Roberto V. Zicari is leading together with a team of international experts the definition of an assessment process for Ethical AI, called Z-Inspection.

He was for the past five years a visiting professor with the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology within the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley (USA).