Behavioral Use Licensing for Responsible AI

Danish Contractor, Daniel McDuff, Julia Katherine Haines, Jenny Lee, Christopher Hines, Brent Hecht, Nicholas Vincent, Hanlin Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


With the growing reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) for many different applications, the sharing of code, data, and models is important to ensure the replicability and democratization of scientific knowledge. Many high-profile academic publishing venues expect code and models to be submitted and released with papers. Furthermore, developers often want to release these assets to encourage development of technology that leverages their frameworks and services. A number of organizations have expressed concerns about the inappropriate or irresponsible use of AI and have proposed ethical guidelines around the application of such systems. While such guidelines can help set norms and shape policy, they are not easily enforceable. In this paper, we advocate the use of licensing to enable legally enforceable behavioral use conditions on software and code and provide several case studies that demonstrate the feasibility of behavioral use licensing. We envision how licensing may be implemented in accordance with existing responsible AI guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2022 5th ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency, FAccT 2022
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450393522
StatePublished - Jun 21 2022
Event5th ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency, FAccT 2022 - Virtual, Online, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Jun 21 2022Jun 24 2022

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference5th ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency, FAccT 2022
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
CityVirtual, Online


  • AI licensing
  • enforceable mechanisms
  • ethical guidelines and principles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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