Ethics Inc., a design game for ethical AI

More and more organisations find it important to develop 'ethical' AI applications. But what exactly is ethical? And how do you design AI systems that meet ethical guidelines? In the cooperative card game Ethics Inc. you design ethically responsible AI applications together. You compose user stories, determine and weigh relevant values, in order to reach consensus with the team.

This game has been developed by the Stichting Toekomstbeeld der Techniek (STT) together with the lectoraat Artificial Intelligence of the Hogeschool Utrecht (HU). The game has been designed by

What you want to know before you read on

  • For whom: everyone within companies that develop tech
  • Process phase: development of new tech or upgrading of existing tech
  • System part: Broad application across the whole system
  • Price indication: PDF version freely available, printed version is paid


In the game, players are approached by the startup 'Ethics Inc.' to develop a reliable AI application that complies with European guidelines. The players together form a think tank to advise the startup on how best to develop this application. To come to an advice, several steps are taken with different maps.

For a pre-selected group of stakeholder cards, a user story is constructed for each using interest cards and challenge cards. The interests are then weighed with the help of weighting cards by the players. Discussion is stimulated in order to get the group to reach consensus together. In the next step these interests are compared and there is room for discussion about conflicting interests and corresponding interests. Finally, a recommendation is made about the ideal AI application on the basis of the interest cards that have been left over.
Ethisch ontwerpspel voor AI


With the help of the game, you discuss the ethical values and interests of new applications and reach consensus. Together, you translate abstract values into concrete contexts of use for design principles of the ideal AI application.

Ethical values in the tool Related ALTAI principles
  • Autonomy
  • Human agency & Oversight
  • Accountability
  • Accountability
  • Environmental & Societal wellbeing
  • Environmental & Societal wellbeing
  • Robustness & safety
  • Technical robustness & safety
  • Privacy & data
  • Privacy & Data governance
  • Transparency
  • Transparency
  • Diversity, non-discrimination
  • Diversity, non-discrimination & fairness
  • Accessibility
  • Democracy

This tool was not developed by the Knowledge Centre Data & Society. We describe the tool on our website because it can help you deal with ethical, legal or social aspects of AI applications. The Knowledge Centre is not responsible for the quality of the tool.