The AI ethics maturity model: a holistic approach to advancing ethical data science in organizations

Joris Krijger*, Tamara Thuis, Maarten de Ruiter, Emma Ligthart, Indy Broekman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The field of AI ethics has advanced considerably over the past years, providing guidelines, principles, and technical solutions for enhancing the ethical development, deployment and usage of AI. However, there is still a clear need for research that facilitates the move from the ‘what’ of AI ethics to the ‘how’ of governance and operationalization. Although promising literature on the challenge of implementation is increasingly more common, so far no systemic analysis has been published that brings the various themes of operationalization together in a way that helps the gradual advancement of AI ethics procedures within organizations. In this opinion paper we therefore set out to provide a holistic maturity framework in the form of an AI ethics maturity model comprising six crucial dimensions for the operationalization of AI ethics within an organization. We contend that advancing AI ethics in practice is a multi-dimensional effort, as successful operationalization of ethics requires combined action on various dimensions. The model as presented is a preliminary result of literature analysis complemented with insights from several practical mutual learning sessions with some of the major public, private and research organizations of the Netherlands. The article contributes to the AI ethics literature and practice by synthesizing relevant aspects of operationalization and relating these to the praxis of AI in a maturity model that provides direction for organizations seeking to implement these ethical principles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAI & Ethics
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2022


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