Ethical guidelines for artificial intelligence

These guidelines for the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI) have been drawn up by a working group of Varma specialists and approved by the Executive Group 16 February 2024. These guidelines outline what the ethically sustainable use of AI requires from us and what we are committed to. A more extensive version has been drawn up for Varma’s internal use, describing the guidelines’ application in everyday work in more detail.

Use of AI in the responsible execution of Varma’s core task

The ethically sustainable use of AI aims to

  • improve the efficiency and quality of Varma’s operations. Varma’s core task is to secure earnings-related pensions. Thus, quality and efficiency are also ethical obligations to us. We make use of AI systems when they help improve the efficiency and quality of our operations.
  • benefit our customers. We take the interests of our policyholders, insured and benefit recipients into account in all our operations. Our goal is for our AI systems to benefit our customers in the form of, for example, faster and more accurate customer service.
  • support Varma employees’ sustainable working life. At Varma, sustainability includes sustainable work culture. The use of AI systems aims to promote the good working life of Varma employees through, for example, smoother specialist role routines.

Limits on the use of AI to prevent ethical risks

Absolute requirements for the use of ethically sustainable AI at Varma are

  • the exclusion of forbidden and ethically unsustainable applications of AI. EU regulation of AI bans certain AI applications altogether. Compliance with regulations is something we never compromise on. Furthermore, we may ban certain AI applications on the basis of our own ethical consideration.
  • identifying the ethical risks of AI systems and abandoning the development and use of the systems, if necessary. Before the adoption of an AI system, we assess its ethical risks in relation to the targeted impacts. Even if the targeted benefits were substantial, we do not adopt AI systems that come with excessive risks. The use of an AI system may be terminated at any time on the basis of ethical consideration. Varma employees and external persons are also able to safely and anonymously raise concerns related to the use of AI through the whistleblowing channel for reporting ethical violations.
  • protecting the key rights of our customers, pensioners, partners and other groups. When it comes to the use of AI systems, we examine the key rights pertaining to Varma’s core task. We do not use an AI system if we identify it as a threat to the implementation of major rights and there are no sufficient means of preventing the threat.

Practices to ensure ethical sustainability in the use of AI

In the use of AI, we secure ethical sustainability

  • by having people be responsible and in control. AI systems are adaptable, able to learn and complex. In spite of this, the real responsibility and control must rest with people for us to be able to ensure that the use of AI promotes the goals set by people.
  • by ensuring sufficient transparency and comprehensibility. Transparency and comprehensibility cannot always be fully implemented in order to, for example, ensure the security of the system. We aim for meaningful and sufficient transparency and comprehensibility to allow third parties to assess the ethical sustainability of our solutions, if necessary.
  • by actively assessing the impacts of AI systems from many perspectives. When we identify that an AI system or application entails a non-negligible risk of unwanted impacts, we incorporate exceptionally careful ethical assessment into all the stages of the AI system’s development and use.


Read more in our news article Ethical guidelines for artificial intelligence (AI) drawn up by Varma’s specialists steer the use of AI at Varma